A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 12

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When I do count the clock that tells the time, And see the brave day sunk in hideous night; When I behold the violet past prime, And sable curls all silvered o'er with white; When lofty trees I see barren of leaves, Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard; Then of thy beauty do I question make, That thou among the wastes of time must go, Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake And die as fast as they see others grow, And nothing 'gainst Time’s scythe can make defense Save breed to brave him when he takes thee hence.

When I count the chimes of the clock that tells the time,
And see the beautiful day sunk into hideous night;
When I see the violet wilting after its prime,
And curly black hair become silvered with white;
When I see tall trees without any leaves
Which once did protect the herd from the sun's heat;
And summer's greenery all tied up in sheaves,
Put with their white bristly beards on the bier to be carried;
Then I make an objection to your beauty,
That you must be counted among things ruined by time,
Since sweet and beautiful things abandon their own qualities
And die as fast as they see others grow,
And nothing can defend itself against Time's harvest
Except by his child, with which he can defy Time.

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Suzy kim
About the Translator: Suzy Kim

Suzy Kim is a graduate student studying Victorian literature at Brown University. She studied English and Psychology at University of Pennsylvania, and some of her creative work can be found in the upcoming volume of The Graphic Canon: Tales of Crime and Mystery Vol. 1. She is from Seoul, and currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island.