A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 77

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear, Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste; The vacant leaves thy mind’s impr'nt will bear, And of this book this learning mayst thou taste: The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show Of mouthèd graves will give thee memory; Thou by thy dial’s shady stealth mayst know Time’s thievish progress to eternity. Look what thy memory cannot contain, Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find Those children nursed, delivered from thy brain, To take a new acquaintance of thy mind. These offices, so oft as thou wilt look, Shall profit thee and much enrich thy book.

Your mirror will show you how your beauty wears away,
Your clock how your precious minutes are wasted;
Blank sheets will bear your mind's imprint,
And from this book you may taste learning.
The wrinkles which your mirror shows
Will remind you of graves gaping open;
From your watch's slow-moving shadow you may know
How time is stealing everything from eternity.
Look, whatever your memory cannot contain,
Write on these empty sheets, and you will find
These children of your brain nurtured here,
To take on a new appearance of your mind.
These duties, as often as you like,
Will benefit you and enrich your book a lot.

Sonnets
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 789 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 18,689 quotes covering 789 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
Suzy kim
About the Translator: Suzy Kim

Suzy Kim is a graduate student studying Victorian literature at Brown University. She studied English and Psychology at University of Pennsylvania, and some of her creative work can be found in the upcoming volume of The Graphic Canon: Tales of Crime and Mystery Vol. 1. She is from Seoul, and currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island.