Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 76
Why is my verse so barren of new pride, So far from variation or quick change? Why with the time do I not glance aside To new-found methods and to compounds strange? Why write I still all one, ever the same, And keep invention in a noted weed, That every word doth almost tell my name, Showing their birth, and where they did proceed? O know, sweet love, I always write of you, And you and love are still my argument. So all my best is dressing old words new, Spending again what is already spent: For as the sun is daily new and old, So is my love still telling what is told.
Why is my verse so empty of new ornaments,
So lacking in variety or lively change?
Why don't I follow the times and divert
To new methods and strange compounds?
Why do I always write one thing, always the same,
And give my creations a familiar dress,
That every word I write reveals my authorship,
Showing their origin, and where they came from?
Oh my love, please know that I always write about you,
And you and love are still my subjects.
So the best I can do is rearranging old words,
Spending again what is already spent:
For as the same sun is daily new and old,
So my love involves still telling what has already been told.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 1258 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 27,629 quotes covering 1258 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms