Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 11
As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow’st In one of thine, from that which thou departest; And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow’st Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth convertest. Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase; Without this, folly, age, and cold decay. If all were minded so, the times should cease, And threescore year would make the world away. Let those whom nature hath not made for store, Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish. Look whom she best endowed, she gave the more, Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish. She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.
As much as you diminish, you will grow
In a child of yours, from the life you are leaving;
And that fresh blood which you spend in your youth
You can still call yours when you convert it into youth.
In this, lies wisdom, beauty, and growth;
Without this, foolishness, old age, and cold decay.
If everyone thought like you, time would cease,
And the world would end in a single lifetime.
Let those who Nature has not made for breeding,
Rough-looking, featureless, and uncultured, die childless.
See how Nature gave most to those who she gave the best qualities,
A gift full of goodness which you should cherish generously.
Beauty molded you as her stamp, and intended in doing so
That you should print more, not let the copy of her die.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 987 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 22,519 quotes covering 987 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms