“Sonnet 73” was written by the English poet and playwright William Shakespeare. Though it was likely written in the 1590s, it was not published until 1609. Like many of Shakespeare’s first 126 sonnets, it is a love poem that is usually understood to address a young man. The poem uses natural metaphors of decline and decay to grapple with the onset of old age, and ultimately suggests that the inevitability of death makes love all the stronger during the lovers’ lifetimes. Like Shakespeare’s other sonnets, it departs from the earlier, Italian sonnet structure and rhyme scheme and follows the Shakespearean sonnet form.