The sonnet is a poetic form which originated in Italy, the Sicilian poet Giacomo Da Lentini is credited with its invention. The term sonnet is derived from the Italian word sonetto. By the thirteenth century it signified a poem of fourteen lines that follows a strict rhyme scheme and specific structure. In English there are typically ten syllable per line. Rules and guidelines connected to the sonnet have changed over its history. Writers of sonnets are often called "sonneteers".
Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.