A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 44

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought, Injurious distance should not stop my way; For then, despite of space, I would be brought From limits far remote where thou dost stay. No matter then although my foot did stand Upon the farthest earth removed from thee, For nimble thought can jump both sea and land As soon as think the place where he would be. But ah, thought kills me that I am not thought To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone, But that so much of earth and water wrought, I must attend time’s leisure with my moan, Receiving naughts by elements so slow But heavy tears, badges of either’s woe.

If the heavy substance of my flesh was thought instead,
Harmful distance should not keep me from you;
For then, despite the distance, I would be brought
From lands far away to where you are staying.
It wouldn't matter if my foot were standing
Upon the point on the earth furthest removed from you,
Quick thought can jump across both sea and land
As soon as it thinks of the place where he would be.
But ah, thought kills me when I think I am not thought
To leap many miles when you are gone,
Since my body is made of so much earth and water,
I must wait on the whim of time with my complaints,
Receiving nothing from the slow elements
But heavy tears, the tokens of their grief.

Sonnets
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 749 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 18,026 quotes covering 749 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
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.