Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 79
Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid, My verse alone had all thy gentle grace, But now my gracious numbers are decayed, And my sick muse doth give another place. I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument Deserves the travail of a worthier pen, Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent He robs thee of and pays it thee again. He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word From thy behavior; beauty doth he give And found it in thy cheek; he can afford No praise to thee but what in thee doth live. Then thank him not for that which he doth say, Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay.
When I, alone, called for your help,
Only my verse had all of your noble grace,
But now my graceful lines are decayed,
And my sick muse gives my place to another person.
I admit, my sweet love, that you are a lovely subject
And deserve the labors of a better writer,
But whatever the other poet writes about you,
He steals it from you and pays it back to you.
He attributes virtue to you, and he stole that word
From your behavior; the beauty that he describes
Was found in your cheek; he can offer
To you only the praise that already lives in you.
Do not thank him for what he says,
Since what he owes to you, you yourself pay.
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