A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 146

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Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth, [Thrall to] these rebel pow'rs that thee array, Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth, Painting thy outward walls so costly gay? Why so large cost, having so short a lease, Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend? Shall worms, inheritors of this excess, Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body’s end? Then, soul, live thou upon thy servant’s loss, And let that pine to aggravate thy store; Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross; Within be fed, without be rich no more. So shalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men, And death once dead, there’s no more dying then.

My poor soul, which is the centre of my sinful body,
Dressed in the rebel powers of the body,
Why do you starve within the body and suffer poverty,
Decorating your outer walls with such costly splendor?
Why do you spend so much on such a short lease
In a fading mansion that you will only stay shortly?
Will worms, the inheritors of this excess,
Eat up what you have spent? Is this how the body will end?
Then, soul, live instead on your servant's loss,
And let it starve to increase your store;
Buy divine terms by selling worthless hours;
Be well fed within, and do not be rich on the outside.
In this way, you will feed on death, which feeds on men,
And once death itself is dead, there will be no more dying.

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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.