Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 45
The other two, slight air and purging fire, Are both with thee, wherever I abide; The first my thought, the other my desire, These present absent with swift motion slide. For when these quicker elements are gone In tender embassy of love to thee, My life, being made of four, with two alone Sinks down to death, oppressed with melancholy; Until life’s composition be recured By those swift messengers returned from thee, Who ev'n but now come back again, assured Of thy fair health, recounting it to me. This told, I joy, but then no longer glad, I send them back again and straight grow sad.
The other two elements, light air and cleansing fire,
Are both with you, wherever I am;
Air is my thought, and fire is my desire,
Whenever they are present they quickly slide away.
When these quicker elements are gone
And make a tender embassy of love to you,
My life, being made of four elements, is only two
And sinks down to death, sinking into melancholy.
Until the proper composition of my life can be restored
By the return of those swift messengers from you,
Who now come back once more, assured
Of your good health, recounting it to me.
This being confirmed, I am overjoyed, but then no longer glad,
I send them back again and straight again become sad.
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 1321 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 29,038 quotes covering 1321 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms