A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 16

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But wherefore do not you a mightier way Make war upon this bloody tyrant, time, And fortify yourself in your decay With means more blessèd than my barren rhyme? Now stand you on the top of happy hours, And many maiden gardens, yet unset, With virtuous wish would bear your living flowers, Much liker than your painted counterfeit. So should the lines of life that life repair Which this time’s pencil or my pupil pen Neither in inward worth nor outward fair Can make you live yourself in eyes of men. To give away yourself keeps yourself still, And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.

But why don't you, in a stronger way,
Fight against time, this bloody tyrant,
And defend yourself against decay
In a more blessed way than my barren poetry?
Now you stand on the happy hours of your prime,
And there are many virgins that are still unseeded,
Who wish virtuously to bear your children,
Which would be more like you than any painted portrait.
So should bloodlines repair life,
Which neither time's pencils or my inexperienced pen
Can preserve in its internal essence or external appearance,
To keep you alive in the eyes of men.
To give yourself away in marriage would preserve you,
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.

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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.