Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 151
Love is too young to know what conscience is, Yet who knows not conscience is born of love? Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss, Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove; For, thou betraying me, I do betray My nobler part to my gross body’s treason. My soul doth tell my body that he may Triumph in love—flesh stays no father reason, But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee As his triumphant prize—proud of this pride, He is contented thy poor drudge to be, To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side. No want of conscience hold it that I call Her “love” for whose dear love I rise and fall.
Love is too young to know what conscience is,
But who doesn't know that conscience is born of love?
Then, gentle cheater, do not accuse me of being evil,
In case you prove yourself to be guilty of my faults.
Since, when you betray me, I reveal
My noble soul to be betrayed by my lowly body.
My soul tells my body that he may
Triumph in love, and the flesh doesn't wait any longer,
But, rising at your name, and points you out
As his triumphant prize—proud of this pride,
He is happy to be your poor servant,
To stand in your duties, and fall by your side.
It is not from lack of a sense of duty that I call
Her "love," since for her love I rise and I fall.
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