Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 88
When thou shalt be disposed to set me light And place my merit in the eye of scorn, Upon thy side against myself I’ll fight, And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn. With mine own weakness being best acquainted, Upon thy part I can set down a story Of faults concealed, wherein I am attainted, That thou in losing me shalt win much glory. And I by this will be a gainer too, For bending all my loving thoughts on thee, The injuries that to myself I do, Doing thee vantage, double vantage me. Such is my love, to thee I so belong, That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.
When you are able to value me at a low rate
And to expose my merit to be questioned by a scornful eye,
I'll fight on your side against myself,
And prove that your virtue, though you've broken your promise.
Since I know my own flaws best,
Taking your side I can offer my testimony
Of the hidden faults I have, where I am morally tainted,
So that you, by losing me, can go on to bigger and better things.
But I will also benefit from losing you,
Since I fixate all my loving thoughts on you,
The harm that I do to myself,
Gives you an advantage, and therefore gives me a double advantage.
This is the nature of my love: I belong to you so much,
That in order to preserve your right to liberty I will take all the blame.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
- Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
- Downloads of 1125 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Explanations and citation info for 25,054 quotes covering 1125 books
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms