But wherefore do not you a mightier
Make war upon this bloody
yourself in your decay,
With means more blessed than
my barren rhyme?
Now stand you on
the top of happy hours,
And many maiden gardens yet
With virtuous wish-would bear
your living flowers,
than your painted counterfeit:
So should the lines of
life that life repair,
Which this (times pencil or
my pupil pen),
Neither in inward worth nor
Can make you
live yourself in eyes of men,
To give away your
self, keeps yourself
And you must
live drawn by your own sweet skill.
Note the repetition of the following words, we find-yourself,
yourself, yourself, yourself, your, your, your, your, you,
you, you (see 13).
8th Line. " Counterfeit" here means
9th Line. " The lines of life "-the features of
11th Line. Fair means beauty.
Here Bacon tells Herbert to make war against time and fortify
(strengthen) himself in his decay (old age) by means more
blessed than Bacon's barren verses. He tells
Herbert that he
is now in his prime (on the top of happy hours) and that any
maiden being a virgin (yet unset) would if he wished be
to have children by him and so repair (restore) his life which
cannot be done by time or his (Bacon's) pen, neither of which
can make Herbert himself live in the eyes of other people-that
he must keep himself still (constant) and so live drawn
together) by his own skill (reason).
Compare this sonnet with Sonnet No. 64, where he again
refers to time the destroyer.