Nor marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhymes;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom,
So, till the judgement that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lover’s eyes.
Meaning of the poem:
Marbles are used in making statues and in monuments for tombs for the powerful and wealthy. Royal tombs are richly ornate. gilded monuments – Memorials that are decorated with gold leaf.
princes – a word which is used to refer rulers male and female. powerful – in the sense of being able to withstand time’s destruction.
But in these contents – ‘in this coffin’ or a physical container or monument. You will shine more brightly.
unswept stone – a stone monument left uncared for, sluttish = smeared of unclean habits and behaviour.
wasteful war – war devastates statues overturn (think of Saddam Hussian statue in Iraq)
The destruction caused by war when conquered by other countries the towns – buildings were razed to the ground by the soldiers.
Neither Mars (God of War) sword (weapons) quick fire will not burn the living record of your memory.
Against Death and oblivious enmity (lacking knowledge and hatred) you will stride forwards, leading a procession, or of striding on to a stage.
Even to the eyes of all future generations even when the World gradually wearing down (wear this world out)
Till the final day (Judgement day) you shall arise and live in the Eyes of your Lovers.
This poem or sonnet is written by William Shakespeare as Sonnet LV or Sonnet 55. The core of the poem is that the poem or person will live eternal to the end of the World. When I read it several times it came close to MGR. Here is another meaning.
Not marble nor gilded monuments of Royal shall not outlive this powerful rhyme (MGR) he will shine more brightly in these form or style – cinema (contents) even (unswept) unclean (besmeared) false accusations in bad time (sluttish time) and even the unwanted war (rivalry between MGR and Sivaji Fans) shall overturn the casted figures – posters (statues) and burns the root out of the works of masons (Great Directors), not even the weapons of war and his (fire) aftermath shall not burn the record of your memory. (Box Office Records created by his predecessors and successors) Against death and enemies lacking in knowledge (enmity) but you shall pace forward and take up the stage (exalted position of Chief Minister of Tamilnadu), your praise shall still find room. Even to the eyes of all the future human beings and till to the final day of this world you will live in the hearts of your Fans.