Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 46
Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war How to divide the conquest of thy sight; Mine eye my heart thy picture’s sight would bar; My heart mine eye the freedom of that right. My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie, A closet never pierced with crystal eyes; But the defendant doth that plea deny, And says in him thy fair appearance lies. To 'cide this title is empanellèd A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart, And by their verdict is determinèd The clear eye’s moiety and the dear heart’s part: As thus—mine eye’s due is thy outward part, And my heart’s right, thy inward love of heart.
My eye and heart are at war over
How to divide the spoils of their conquest of the sight of you.
My eye denies my heart the sight of your picture;
My heart denies my eye the exercise of that right.
My heart begs you to live in him,
A private chamber never pierced by the clearest eyes.
But the eye denies that plea,
And says your beautiful image lies within him instead.
To decide who gets to own your image,
A jury of thoughts have gathered, all tenants of the heart,
And it is decided by their verdict which is
The clear eye's half and the dear heart's half:
As follows: my eye receives your outward appearance,
And my heart's right is your inner love of heart.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 942 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 21,593 quotes covering 942 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms