Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 2
When forty winters shall besiege thy brow And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field, Thy youth’s proud livery, so gazed on now, Will be a tattered weed, of small worth held. Then being asked where all thy beauty lies, Where all the treasure of thy lusty days, To say within thine own deep-sunken eyes Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise. How much more praise deserved thy beauty’s use If thou couldst answer, “This fair child of mine Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,” Proving his beauty by succession thine. This were to be new made when thou art old, And see thy blood warm when thou feel’st it cold.
When forty winters will occupy your forehead,
And dig deep trenches the field that beauty now occupies,
The proud clothing of your youth, so admired by others now,
Will be ripped rags, considered to be worth little.
Then when someone asks you where all your beauty is,
Where all the treasure of your sexually active days lies,
To say that it lies within your own deep-sunken eyes,
Would be an all-consuming shame and wasteful of praise.
The use of your beauty would deserve so much more praise
If you could answer: “This beautiful child of mine
Is the receipt of my beauty and the excuse for my oldness."
And his beauty will be proved because he is your son.
This child would be youthful when you are old,
You would see your blood warm when you feel it growing cold.