A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 4

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Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend Upon thyself thy beauty’s legacy? Nature’s bequest gives nothing, but doth lend, And, being frank, she lends to those are free. Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse The bounteous largess given thee to give? Profitless usurer, why dost thou use So great a sum of sums yet canst not live? For having traffic with thyself alone, Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive. Then how when nature calls thee to be gone, What acceptable audit canst thou leave? Thy unused beauty must be tombed with thee, Which usèd lives th' executor to be.

Wasteful beauty, why do you spend
The inheritance of your beauty upon yourself?
Nature's gift is nothing in itself, it is lent,
And, being generous, she lends to those who are generous.
Then, you beautiful miser, why do you abuse
The bountiful endowment given to you to give to others?
You profitless banker, why do you spend
So great a sum, without making more life?
By dealing only with yourself,
You deceive your sweet self about your self.
So when nature calls you to be gone,
What acceptable account of yourself can you leave behind?
Your unused beauty will go to the tomb with you,
Which when used, lives to be your executor.

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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.