Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?


The first line of a sonnet by William Shakespeare. The poet notes that beautiful days and seasons do not last but declares that his love's “eternal summer shall not fade” because his poem makes his love immortal: “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, / So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.