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 endowed, she gave the more,
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish.
She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby
Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.
As fast as you will decline, you could grow again just as fast, through one of your children. The youth and vigor that you would pass on to a child now that you’re still young, you could call your own when you’re no longer young. In marriage and childbirth lie wisdom, beauty, and reproduction. Without them you have only foolishness, age, and the cold decay of death. If everyone thought like you, the human race would end, and in sixty years there’d be no more world. Let the people who aren’t good enough to preserve—the rough, ugly, poor people—die childless. Nature gave abundantly to the people whom she endowed with beauty, and you should cherish her gifts by being generous with them. Nature made you her stamp, to serve as a template for all human beauty. She meant for you to make copies of yourself, so that the original—you—wouldn’t die.