Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 123
No! Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change. Thy pyramids built up with newer might To me are nothing novel, nothing strange; They are but dressings of a former sight. Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire What thou dost foist upon us that is old, And rather make them born to our desire Than think that we before have heard them told. Thy registers and thee I both defy, Not wond'ring at the present nor the past; For thy recórds and what we see doth lie, Made more or less by thy continual haste. This I do vow and this shall ever be: I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.
No! Time, you will not boast that I change.
Your pyramids, built up with new power
To me are not new or strange;
They are only versions of what has been seen before.
Our lifetimes are brief, and therefore we admire
Whatever old thing you force on us,
And rather make them suit our desires
Than think that we have heard of them before.
I defy both your history books and you,
Refusing to admire the present or the past;
For your records and what we see both deceive,
And are made unreliable as time passes.
But I promise this, and it will always be true:
I will be true, despite you, time, and your destruction.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 942 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 21,593 quotes covering 942 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms