Not 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.
Click on the post below to hear Sonnet 55 read by Georgie Cockerill, one of the Shakespeare and Creativity students at The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.
You might like to visit a similar Shakespeare for Advent project led by students at the University of Tubingen by clicking here.