A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

A line-by-line translation

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 85

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My tongue-tied muse in manners holds her still, While comments of your praise, richly compiled, Reserve their character with golden quill And precious phrase by all the muses filed. I think good thoughts, whilst other write good words, And like unlettered clerk still cry “Amen” To every hymn that able spirit affords, In polished form of well-refinèd pen. Hearing you praised, I say “'Tis so, ’tis true,” And to the most of praise add something more; But that is in my thought, whose love to you, Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before. Then others for the breath of words respect, Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect.

My tongue-tied muse politely stays silent,
While commentary on your beauty, rich compositions,
Reserve for their writing a golden pen
And precious phrases that are polished by all the muses.
I think good thoughts about you while others write good words,
And like an illiterate priest, I join in with the "Amen"
To every poem that an able poet offers to you,
In the polished form of a well-refined pen.
When I hear you being praised, I say "It is so, it is true,"
And add something more to the highest praise;
But what is in my thought, since my love for you,
Is of the highest rank, despite the fact that my words are the lowest.
Then respect others for their spoken words, 
And respect me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in reality.

Sonnets
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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.