Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 41
Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits When I am sometime absent from thy heart, Thy beauty and thy years full well befits, For still temptation follows where thou art. Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won; Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assailed; And when a woman woos, what woman’s son Will sourly leave her till he have prevailed? Ay me, but yet thou might’st my seat forbear, And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth, Who lead thee in their riot even there Where thou art forced to break a twofold truth: Hers by thy beauty tempting her to thee, Thine by thy beauty being false to me.
Those pleasing insults that freedom permits,
When I am sometimes absent from your heart,
They are appropriate to your beauty and your age,
Since temptation follows you wherever you go.
You are noble, and therefore a prize to be won;
You are beautiful, and therefore to be seduced.
And when a woman seduces, what kind of a man
Will bitterly leave her alone until he has prevailed?
Oh but you might keep away from the seat of my love,
And keep your beauty and naughty youth in check,
Which lead you in their debauchery there too
Where you are forced to break two different vows:
Her vow to me, since your beauty tempts her to abandon me,
And your vow to me, because your beauty is unfaithful to me.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 876 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 20,299 quotes covering 876 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms