Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 82
I grant thou wert not married to my muse, And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook The dedicated words which writers use Of their fair subject, blessing every book. Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue, Finding thy worth a limit past my praise, And therefore art enforced to seek anew Some fresher stamp of the time-bett'ring days. And do so, love; yet when they have devised What strainèd touches rhetoric can lend, Thou, truly fair, wert truly sympathized In true plain words by thy true-telling friend. And their gross painting might be better used Where cheeks need blood—in thee it is abused.
I accept that you were not obliged to be my muse,
And, therefore, can read without dishonor
The words that other writers devote
To their beautiful subject, blessing every book.
You are as beautiful in knowledge as you are in complexion,
And finding your merit beyond my capacity to praise,
You therefore you are forced to look once again
For some newer writer of these improving times.
And do so, my love; but while they have created
What artificial touches rhetoric can provide,
You, who are purely beautiful, are truly represented
In simple, honest words by your truthful friend.
And their artificial praise might be better used
On people who lack beauty—on you, it is unnecessary.
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