Explain the phrases.
a. his bending sickle's compass
b. Time's fool
Compass is considered as a symbol of eternity. However, in the poem, it represents the change that a relationship goes through as it grows, old and less intense. How a man's love for his young beloved grows less as he gave value to beauty over the spiritual love. Though the love never dies, the physical beauty of a lover may fade and withers as it falls to time's compass' sickle.
Shakespeare says that love is not at the mercy of time. True love is ageless. No matter how old a human grows, with it love grows; though the physical beauty falls prey to time's sickle. It is the constancy that holds two people in a relationship together.