Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 78
So oft have I invoked thee for my muse, And found such fair assistance in my verse, As every alien pen hath got my use, And under thee their poesy disperse. Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing, And heavy ignorance aloft to fly, Have added feathers to the learnèd’s wing And given grace a double majesty. Yet be most proud of that which I compile, Whose influence is thine and born of thee. In others' works thou dost but mend the style, And arts with thy sweet graces gracèd be; But thou art all my art, and dost advance As high as learning my rude ignorance.
So often I have called you to be my inspiration,
And found such beautiful assistance with my poetry,
That every other writer has adopted my practice,
And circulates their verse under your patronage.
Your eyes, that taught mutes to sing from the heavens,
And raised heavy ignorance to new heights,
Have added feathers to the wing of the educated
And gave grace twice its majesty.
But please be proudest of what I compose,
Which is influenced by you and born out of you.
In others' works you only improve their style,
And their arts are graced by your sweet graces;
But you are all of my art, and you advance
My ignorance as high as learning.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 1094 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 24,403 quotes covering 1094 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms