A question regarding the use of “but” in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 1
Does anyone understand the use of “but” in “But as the riper should by time decease”? :
"From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:"
I don’t feel that line 3 and 4 in any way contrast line 1 and 2 and thus don’t see any reason to use a “but”.
Thanks a lot for your help!
The rest of Sonnet 1 is below, but I don’t feel that it explains the use of “but”:
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding:
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.