Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 21
So is it not with me as with that muse, Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse, Who heav'n itself for ornament doth use, And every fair with his fair doth rehearse— Making a couplement of proud compare With sun and moon, with earth and sea’s rich gems, With April’s first-born flow'rs, and all things rare That heaven’s air in this huge rondure hems. O let me, true in love but truly write, And then believe me: my love is as fair As any mother’s child, though not so bright As those gold candles fixed in heaven’s air. Let them say more that like of hearsay well; I will not praise that purpose not to sell.
I am not like that other poet,
Inspired to write by a woman wearing makeup,
Who uses heaven itself as an ornament of his praise,
And every beautiful thing describes his beautiful thing,
Coupling her through proud comparisons
With the sun and moon, with the treasures of the earth and sea,
With the first flowers of the spring, and all the rarest things
That are contained within the vast circle of the heavens.
Oh let me, faithful in love, write truthfully,
And then believe me: my love is as beautiful
As any mother's child, although it is not as bright
As the stars fixed like golden candles in the sky.
Let others say more who like rumor too much.
I won't praise what I don't intend to sell.