Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 13
O that you were yourself! But, love, you are No longer yours than you yourself here live. Against this coming end you should prepare, And your sweet semblance to some other give. So should that beauty which you hold in lease Find no determination; then you were Yourself again after yourself’s decease, When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear. Who lets so fair a house fall to decay, Which husbandry in honor might uphold Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day And barren rage of death’s eternal cold? O, none but unthrifts, dear my love you know, You had a father; let your son say so.
Oh, only if you were your true self! But, love, you
Do not belong to yourself longer than you live in this world.
You should make preparations against this coming end,
And give your sweet image to another.
And so should your beauty, which you only have a lease on
Will not end with you; then, you would
Be yourself again even after your own death,
When your sweet children will have your sweet form.
Who would let so beautiful a house fall into decay,
Which husbandry might continue to support
Against the stormy gusts of winter's day
And the unproductive rage of death's eternal cold?
Oh, only spendthrifts let such decay happen. My dear love,
You had a father; have a child, so that he can say so too.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 1179 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 26,005 quotes covering 1179 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms