The poet tells the young man that while the world praises his outward beauty, those who look into his inner being (as reflected in his deeds) speak of him in quite different terms. They ground their accusations in his having become too “common.”
Those parts of thee that the world’s eye doth view Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend. All tongues, the voice of souls, give thee that ⌜due,⌝ 4Utt’ring bare truth, even so as foes commend. ⌜Thy⌝ outward thus with outward praise is crowned, But those same tongues that give thee so thine own In other accents do this praise confound 8By seeing farther than the eye hath shown. They look into the beauty of thy mind, And that, in guess, they measure by thy deeds; Then, churls, their thoughts, although their eyes were kind, 12To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds. But why thy odor matcheth not thy show, The soil is this, that thou dost common grow.