Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 139
O call not me to justify the wrong That thy unkindness lays upon my heart. Wound me not with thine eye, but with thy tongue; Use pow'r with pow'r, and slay me not by art. Tell me thou lov’st elsewhére; but in my sight, Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside. What need’st thou wound with cunning when thy might Is more than my o'er-pressed defense can bide? Let me excuse thee: Ah, my love well knows Her pretty looks have been mine enemies, And therefore from my face she turns my foes, That they elsewhére might dart their injuries. Yet do not so, but since I am near slain, Kill me outr'ght with looks, and rid my pain.
Oh do not ask me to excuse the harm
That your unkindness has caused to my heart.
Do not hurt me with your expression, but by speaking;
Use your power directly, and don't hurt me subtly.
Tell me you love someone else; but while I can see you,
My love, please stop looking at other people.
Why do you need to wound in such a cunning way, when your power
Is stronger than what my overwhelmed defense can bear?
Let me make excuses for you: "Ah, my love knows well that
Her pretty glances have hurt me,
And therefore she turns her eyes away from my face,
So that they might hurt someone else instead."
But actually don't do that, but since I am almost dead anyway,
Kill me directly with your looks, and put me out of my misery.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 987 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 22,519 quotes covering 987 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms