A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 45

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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.

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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.