«Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten».
The poet rebounds somewhat in the face of the rival poet’s opposition. Reverting to tried-and-tested themes, he heroically assures the youth that he, unlike the rival poet, can immortalize the young man through his sonnets: “Your name from hence immortal life shall have, / Though I, once gone, to all the world must die.”
Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
The poet’s verse offers the young man a refuge from time’s decay, but more importantly, it offers a haven to the poet himself during this crucial time when he is being challenged by the rival poet for the youth’s affections. Although the curious contrast between the poet’s humility about his person and his supreme confidence in his verse is still evident, he confidently asserts at the sonnet’s end that the young man “still shall live” because “such virtue hath my pen.”
English audio from YouTube Channel Socratica
Summary from Cliffsnotes.com