Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 42
That thou hast her it is not all my grief, And yet it may be said I loved her dearly; That she hath thee is of my wailing chief, A loss in love that touches me more nearly. Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye: Thou dost love her because thou knowst I love her; And for my sake even so doth she abuse me, Suff'ring my friend for my sake to approve her. If I lose thee, my loss is my love’s gain, And losing her, my friend hath found that loss; Both find each other, and I lose both twain, And both for my sake lay on me this cross. But here’s the joy; my friend and I are one; Sweet flatt'ry! Then she loves but me alone.
That you have her is not all of my sadness,
And it is true to say that she was precious to me.
The main cause of my wailing is that she has you,
A loss in love that affects me more deeply.
Criminals of love, I will forgive you for these reasons:
You love her because you know I love her;
And, similarly, she abuses me because she knows I love you,
Allowing my friend to test her for my sake.
If I lose you, my loss is my lover's gain,
And losing her meant my friend found what I had lost;
Both of them find each other, and I lose them both,
And both of them make me suffer for my own sake.
And this is why: my friend and I are the same person.
What a happy delusion! This means she loves only me.