Gradually the Italian sonnet pattern was changed and since
Shakespeare attained fame for the greatest poems of this modified type
his name has often been given to the English form.
Instead of an octave and a sestet, a Shakespearian sonnet has three
quatrains a.b.a.b....c.d.c.d....e.f.e.f. and a
rhymed couplet. g.g.
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
But sad mortality o'er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
how shall summer's honey breath hold out,
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! Where alack,
Shall Time's best jewel from Times chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O, none unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
To read more of his sonnets click here)