SONNET NO. 55Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
`Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room,
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself, arise You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.
3rd Line. These contents = what is contained in my poems
written in praise of thee.
9th Line. All oblivious emnity = injurious oblivion.
12th Line. Wear this world out = outlast this world.
13th Line. Means till the judgement day when you arise from
This sonnet is addressed to love which is immortal. Here
Bacon writes that his powerful rhyme shall outlive marble or
monuments of princes and that love shall shine brighter than
any tomb or monument made by man and that broils and wars
shall never destroy the living record of love which shall survive
death and still be praised by future generations (posterity) and
shall live until the day of judgement in this rhyme as well as in
lovers' eyes. Bacon under his own name wrote "the monuments
of wit will survive the monuments of power: the verses of the
poet endure without a syllable lost, while state and empires pass
So we are asked to believe that Will Shakspere of Stratford
and Francis Bacon of St. Albans had the same identical thoughts
on the same subject-Shakspere expressing his by means of
poetry and Bacon in prose.