«Ah! wherefore with infection should he live,
And with his presence grace impiety».
Sonnet 67 continues the thought of the previous sonnet, and develops a new argument in its reflection upon the poet’s contemporary age.
Ah! wherefore with infection should he live,
Although the poet still professes faith in the youth’s natural endowments, he is put out of sorts by the public rage for artificial beauty in life and art: “Why should false painting imitate his cheek / And steal dead seeing of his living hue?” What’s more, he wonders why the young man would submit himself to such false treatment.
The youth is the standard of beauty against which everything else is measured: “Why should poor beauty indirectly seek / Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?” Natural beauty needs no cosmetics, yet the youth subjects himself to impostor artists who alter his appearance by false means.
English audio from YouTube Channel Socratica
Summary from Cliffsnotes.com