Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 124
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.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 994 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 22,655 quotes covering 994 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms