Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 100
Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget’st so long To speak of that which gives thee all thy might? Spend’st thou thy fury on some worthless song, Dark'ning thy pow'r to lend base subjects light? Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem In gentle numbers time so idly spent; Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem, And gives thy pen both skill and argument. Rise, resty Muse; my love’s sweet face survey, If time have any wrinkle graven there; If any, be a satire to decay, And make time’s spoils despisèd everywhere. Give my love fame faster than time wastes life; So thou prevent’st his scythe and crookèd knife.
Where are you, my Muse, that you forgot for so long
To speak of that person who gives you all your power?
Are you wasting your inspiration on some worthless song,
Dulling your power to brighten some lowly subjects?
Return, forgetful Muse, and immediately make up for
The time that you spent writing noble verses;
Sing to the ear that appreciates your songs,
And gives your pen its ability to write and its subject.
Rise, sleepy Muse; examine my love's sweet face,
See if Time has carved any wrinkles there;
If it has, then mock its power of decay,
And make time's triumph hated everywhere.
Give my love fame faster than time wastes life;
So that you stop Time's sickle and his crooked knife.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 749 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 18,026 quotes covering 749 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms