My glass shall not persuade me I am old
So long as youth and thou are of one date;
But when in thee time’s furrows I behold,
Then look I death my days should expiate.
For all that beauty that doth cover thee
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me.
How can I then be elder than thou art?
O therefore, love, be of thyself so wary
As I, not for myself, but for thee will,
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain;
Thou gav’st me thine not to give back again.
I won’t believe my mirror when it tells me I’m old, as long as you’re still young. But when I see you with wrinkles, then I’ll know death is on its way, because your beauty is as close to my heart as beautiful clothing to a body. Put another way, my heart beats in your chest and yours in mine. But if that’s true, then how can I be older than you? Therefore, my love, take care of yourself just as I will take care of myself, not for my own sake, but because I have your heart inside of me, which I will protect as carefully as a nurse her baby. Don’t expect to get your heart back from me when mine is dead. You gave it to me forever, never to be returned.