Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 48
How careful was I, when I took my way, Each trifle under truest bars to thrust, That to my use it might unusèd stay From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust. But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are, Most worthy comfort, now my greatest grief, Thou best of dearest, and mine only care, Art left the prey of every vulgar thief. Thee have I not locked up in any chest, Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art, Within the gentle closure of my breast, From whence at pleasure thou mayst come and part; And even thence thou wilt be stol'n, I fear, For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear.
How careful I was, when I set off on my journey,
Thrusting each trifle under the most trustworthy bars,
So that, for my own use, it might stay unused
By unfaithful hands, in a trustworthy container.
But you, who make my jewels seem like trifles,
My best comfort, are now my greatest grief,
You are the best of my most valued things, and my only concern,
Are left to be the prey of every common thief.
You I have not locked in any chest,
Except for where you are not, though I feel that you are,
Within the noble enclosure of my breast,
From where you may come and go;
And I am even afraid that you will be stolen from there,
Since even truth might become a thief for a prize as valuable as you.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 1157 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 25,560 quotes covering 1157 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms