Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 153
Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep. A maid of Dian’s this advantage found, And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep In a cold valley-fountain of that ground, Which borrowed from this holy fire of love A dateless lively heat, still to endure, And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove Against strange maladies a sovereign cure. But at my mistress' eye love’s brand new fired, The boy for trial needs would touch my breast; I, sick withal, the help of bath desired, And thither hied, a sad distempered guest, But found no cure; the bath for my help lies Where Cupid got new fire—my mistress' eye.
Cupid put his torch down and fell asleep.
One of Diana's nymphs took advantage of this situation
And quickly plunged his love-kindling torch
Into a cold spring in a valley nearby,
Which borrowed the fire of love from the torch
An eternal and vital heat, which still endures,
And became a bubbling bath which men still use,
The best cure against strange diseases.
But love's torch is lighted again by my mistress's eye,
And Cupid, wanting to test it, touched my breast with it;
I, sick with love, and desired the help of the bath,
And went there as a sad, diseased guest.
However, I found no cure; the only bath that can help lies
Where Cupid got his new fire—my mistress's gaze.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 815 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 19,172 quotes covering 815 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms