Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 69
Those parts of thee that the world’s eye doth view Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend. All tongues, the voice of souls, give thee that due, Utt'ring bare truth, ev'n so as foes commend. Thy outward thus with outward praise is crowned; But those same tongues that give thee so thine own In other accents do this praise confound By seeing farther than the eye hath shown. They look into the beauty of thy mind, And that in guess they measure by thy deeds; Then, churls, their thoughts (although their eyes were kind) To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds; But why thy odor matcheth not thy show, The soil is this, that thou dost common grow.
The parts of you that the world are able to see
Lack nothing that the thought of hearts could improve.
All tongues, which give voice to everyone's souls, give you the praise you deserve,
Speaking naked truth, even your enemies praise you like this.
Your outer beauty matches the praise your appearance inspires,
But those same tongues that praise you, as you deserve,
In other accents destroy that praise
By seeing farther than just their eyes have shown them.
They look into the beauty of your mind,
And they estimate the quality of your mind by your actions.
Then, ungrateful people, their thoughts (although their eyes were kind)
Add the sour smell of weeds to the beautiful flower of your beauty.
But why your smell does not match your appearance,
Is for this reason: you have become common.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 673 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 16,605 quotes covering 673 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms