A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 143

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Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch One of her feathered creatures broke away, Sets down her babe and makes all swift dispatch In púrsuit of the thing she would have stay; Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase, Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent To follow that which flies before her face, Not prizing her poor infant’s discontent: So run’st thou after that which flies from thee, Whilst I, thy babe, chase thee afar behind. But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me, And play the mother’s part, kiss me, be kind. So will I pray that thou mayst have thy Will, If thou turn back and my loud crying still.

Behold, as an anxious housewife runs to catch
One of her birds, that has broken out of its cage,
She puts down her baby and makes haste
In pursuit of the thing that she would like to keep;
While her neglected child runs after her,
Crying to catch her, whose busy care is focused
To follow that thing fleeing just ahead of her,
Neglecting her poor child's unhappiness:
Similarly, you run after that which runs away from you,
While I, your baby, chase you from far behind.
But if you catch the thing you want, turn back to me,
And play the role of the mother, kiss me, be kind.
So I will pray that you have your Will
If you turn back and stop my loud crying.

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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.