Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest,Now is the time that face should form another,Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.For where is she so fair whose uneared wombDisdains the tillage of thy husbandry?Or who is he so fond will be the tombOf his self-love, to stop posterity?Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in theeCalls back the lovely April of her prime;So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time.But if thou live remembered not to be,Die single and thine image dies with thee.
Shakespeare Sonnet 3: Summary & Analysis
In the first quatrain, the speaker asks his friend to look into the mirror and see his face in it. He tells that it is an appropriate time to become a father. His face appears healthy and fresh, but if he doesn’t become the father of a child now, he will be cheating the world and curse the lady, who would probably be the mother of that child.
In the second quatrain, the speaker continues to say that, there is no woman so beautiful that she will refuse to be the mother of his child. He also doubts that there is any man, who is so absorbed in self-love, that he will reject to become a father of a child.
In the third quatrain, the speaker tells his friend that he is a reflection of his mother and her mother can recall her youth when she looks at you. In the same way, he can recall his youth when he looks at his child, despite wrinkles on his face.
In the final couplet, the speaker warns his friend that if he decides to not have any children to remember him, then he will die alone and their will be no one to remember him.