Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye
That thou consumest thyself in single life?
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die.
The world will wail thee, like a makeless wife;
The world will be thy widow and still weep
That thou no form of thee hast left behind,
When every private widow well may keep
By children’s eyes her husband’s shape in mind.
Look, what an unthrift in the world doth spend
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
But beauty’s waste hath in the world an end,
And kept unused, the user so destroys it.
No love toward others in that bosom sits
That on himself such murderous shame commits.
Sonnet 9 in modern English
Could it be that you are avoiding marriage because you are afraid of causing grief to a potential widow? However, if you happen to pass away without any children, the world will mourn for you just as if you were a bereaved widow. The world will be left with the sorrow of your absence and mourn deeply because you have not left any heirs to carry on your legacy. A widow, on the other hand, can keep the memory of her spouse alive through their children. When a wasteful spender squanders money, it simply moves from one pocket to another, and the world continues to benefit from it. But squandered beauty is lost to the world, and by not using it, the owner destroys it. One who so shamelessly destroys oneself has no love for others in their heart.