Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 1
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. But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes, Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel, Making a famine where abundance lies, Thyself 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.
We want beautiful people to reproduce and grow in number,
So that the examples of beauty might never die.
Even though someone who is ripe must eventually die,
His young heir might carry his memory.
But you, bound in a contract to your own beautiful eyes,
Are burning up your own beauty by being single,
Are making a famine where there is abundance,
You are your own enemy, too cruel to your sweet self.
You, who are now the fresh ornament of the world,
And the best herald of the ostentatious spring,
Are burying your beauty within an unused bud,
You are being a girly miser, wasting your beauty by being so stingy.
Show some pity on the world, or else become a glutton,
By letting what the world deserves be consumed by the grave and you.
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