Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 104
To me, fair friend, you never can be old, For as you were when first your eye I eyed, Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold Have from the forests shook three summers' pride; Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned In process of the seasons have I seen; Three April pérfumes in three hot Junes burned, Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green. Ah yet doth beauty, like a dial hand, Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived; So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand, Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived. For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred: Ere you were born was beauty’s summer dead.
To me, beautiful friend, you can never be old,
For as you were when I first saw your gaze.
Your beauty seems no less now. Three cold winters
Have passed, shaking the leaves out of the trees;
Three beautiful springs have turned into yellow autumn
During the progress of the seasons that I have seen;
Flowers from three Aprils have burned in three hot Junes
Since I first saw you, you who are still young.
Ah but beauty, like the hand of a clock,
Sneaks away from my lover, without any hint of motion;
So your sweet color, which I think remains the same,
Is changing, and my eye may be deceived.
Out of fear for this, hear this, you generations yet unborn:
Before you were born, the summer of beauty was dead.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 601 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 15,188 quotes covering 601 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms