Shakespeare Sonnet 14, Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck

Shakespeare sonnet 14

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Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck,
And yet methinks I have astronomy,
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well,
By oft predict that I in heaven find;
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert;
Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
Thy end is truth’s and beauty’s doom and date.

Shakespeare Sonnet 14 Analysis

In sonnet 14 Shakespeare continues addressing a youth in respect to the future. He rejects astrology for future prediction “Not from the stars do I my judgment” and says that his knowledge of astronomy “methinks I have Astronomy” is not for predicting famines, plagues, luck and the seasons

He says he cannot make accurate predictions “fortune to brief minutes tell” nor can he interpret bad weather as omens “Pointing to each his thunder”. Neither can he tell a man’s fortune “if it shall go well” by studying the heavens “in heaven find”.

But he can easily predict the future of man’s beautiful character and his life by looking into his eyes “thine eyes my knowledge I derive”. He can read the stars in a man’s eyes “constant stars, in them I read” which reveals beauty and truth coexisting in a man “truth and beauty shall together thrive”. He says that the union of beauty and truth stored in the youth “from thyself, to store” can thrive further if he transfers them to his children “thou wouldst convert”.

He ends by saying that if the youth does not pass on his truth and beauty by having children, then the only truth is his death “Thy end is truth’s” where his beauty perishes for all time “beauty’s doom and date”

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