Sonnet 11
Sonnet 11

As fast as thou shalt wane so fast thou grow'st
In one of thine from that which thou departest,
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow'st
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth convertest:
Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase;
Without this, folly, age, and cold decay:
If all were minded so, the times should cease,
And threescore year would make the world away.
Let those whom nature hath not made for store-
Harsh, featureless, and rude-barrenly perish:
Look, whom she best endow'd she gave the more;
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish:
She carv'd thee for her seal, and meant thereby
Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.

1-2: 'As fast as time takes hold of you, you do grow (in attributes) as you leave one of yourself [an heir] behind'; or, more generally, 'if you're persuing two things, drop one and you'll increase in that aspect that much more'. 3-4: 'And the children to whom you (would) have given life, you can call your own (self) when you stray from youth'. 5-6: 'Within children (procreation) resides wisdom, beauty and increase (of a good life), however, without children, you are prone to folly, aging and the rest of your life without warming love (of children)'. 7-8: 'If everyone acted as you do in not bearing children, generations would be no more, and the [or your] world would die within (your) sixty years'. 9-10: 'Let those people who Nature decides shall not have heirs perish, because they are "harsh, featureless, and rude"'. 13-14: 'She has you as a stamp (for sealing wax, not the wax itself), and meant for you to reproduce more of yourself through children, and not to let yourself die without not doing so (because life is everlasting through children)'.

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