A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 124

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

If my dear love were but the child of state, It might for Fortune’s bastard be unfathered, As subject to time’s love or to time’s hate, Weeds among weeds, or flow'rs with flowers gathered. No, it was builded far from accident; It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls Under the blow of thrallèd discontent, Whereto th' inviting time our fashion calls. It fears not policy, that heretic, Which works on leases of short numb’red hours. But all alone stands hugely politic, That it nor grows with heat nor drowns with showers. To this I witness call the fools of time, Which die for goodness, who have lived for crime.

If my love was only a product of circumstances,
It might be considered the illegitimate child of Fortune,
And made subject to time's love or hate,
A weed among weeds, or a flower among flowers.
No, it was built far away from accident;
It does not experience the vulnerability of kings,
Or falls because of the disapproval of its own subjects,
Which is the fashion that these inviting days call for.
It is not afraid of strategy, that heretic,
Whose influence only lasts for a short time.
But stands all alone, very prudently,
So that it does not grow with heat, or drown in showers.
As witnesses to this I call those who are the fools of time,
Who die for goodness, when they have lived for crime.

Sonnets
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 672 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 16,595 quotes covering 672 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
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.