“Sonnet 94” was written by the English poet and playwright William Shakespeare and first published in 1609. The speaker begins this particular poem by praising the kind of beautiful, powerful person who practices extreme self-restraint. The speaker then switches gears, noting that even lovely flowers can become infected—and that rotting flowers are then worse than any weed. The implication is that the seemingly ideal person from the first half of the poem is like those flowers: though they might appear perfectly self-controlled on the outside, they're susceptible to corruption and capable of rotten behavior. “Sonnet 94” belongs to what scholars call the "Fair Youth" sequence, 126 of Shakespeare's sonnets addressed to an unnamed young man with whom the speaker has an intimate relationship.