Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 122
Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain Full charactered with lasting memory, Which shall above that idle rank remain Beyond all date, ev'n to eternity; Or at the least, so long as brain and heart Have faculty by nature to subsist; Till each to razed oblivion yield his part Of thee, thy record never can be missed. That poor retention could not so much hold, Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score; Therefore to give them from me was I bold, To trust those tables that receive thee more; To keep an adjunct to remember thee Were to import forgetfulness in me.
Your gift, your note-book, is in my brain
Written in lasting memory,
Which will remain above the rank of physical things
Beyond all end, even to eternity;
Or at the least, as long as the brain and the heart
Have their natural faculty of survival;
Until they have submitted to erased oblivion their parts
Of you, your memory can never be forgotten.
That weak receptacle of memory could not hold so much,
Nor do I need records to remind me of my love for you;
Therefore I gave away the book,
To trust my memory to retain your image better;
To keep a helper to remember you
Would imply I could forget you.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 673 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 16,605 quotes covering 673 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms