Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 65
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea, But sad mortality o'ersways their power, How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea, Whose action is no stronger than a flower? O how shall summer’s honey breath hold out Against the wrackful siege of batt'ring days, When rocks impregnable are not so stout, Nor gates of steel so strong but time decays? O fearful meditation! Where, alack,Shall time’s best jewel from time’s chest lie hid? Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back? Or who his spoil or beauty can forbid? O none, unless this miracle have might, That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
Since brass nor stone nor earth nor the uncontained sea,
Can help being over-powered by sad mortality,
Given this destruction how can beauty survive,
Who is no stronger than a flower?
Oh how can summer's honey breath hold out
Against the destructive siege of battering days,
When invincible rocks are not so hard,
Nor gates of steel strong enough to withstand decay over time?
What a frightening thought! Where, alas,
Will time's most prized gem escape being put away in time's jewelry box?
What strong hand can hold back time's quick steps?
Who can prevent his spoiling of beauty?
None, unless this miracle is powerful enough
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 1173 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 25,867 quotes covering 1173 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms