From Fairest Creatures We Desire Increase (Sonnet -1) by Shakespeare
From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory;
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And, tender churl, mak’st waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.
‘From fairest creatures’ is an excellent poem. It has been composed by Shakespeare. This poem belongs to the poet's first group of sonnet. It deals with the metaphorical pictures of Time, Youth and Beauty.
The present sonnet is addressed to a young man. He is a man of matchless beauty. He is the friend of the poet. The poet requests his friend to immortalize himself through his issues. The poet's friend is the fairest of creation. He is of very tender age. His social position is very high. The poet expects from him that he should develop his own race. It seems that the young man is unwilling to marry.
In the beginning of the poem the poet says to his friend that he should follow the laws of nature. According to the poet all the beautiful things should be multiplied. Thus the fair youth should marry and beget children. The poet is of the view that the life is a subject to decay and death. Thus the fair youth should try to produce children to perpetuate his image.
In the middle part of the poem the poet talks about his friend's miserliness. He feels that his friend loves his own image like Narcissus, a Greek god. Behaving like this Greek god, the poet's friend is creating the conditions of famine. Here the comparison is very interesting. The last part of the poem emphasizes the same thing. The poet blames his friend for his inactivity. According to the poet his friend should not waste his creative energy.
The present poem has three quatrains and a couplet at the end. The rhyme scheme is abab, cdcd, efef and gg. It also has exposition, elaboration, exemplification and inference. The first quatrain presents the theme and the second and the third quatrains enlarge it. The couplet concludes the poem.
In short, the present sonnet is an excellent piece. It presents beautiful, interesting and metaphorical pictures of Time, Youth and Beauty.