For shame deny that thou bear’st love to any,
Who for thy self art so unprovident.
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
But that thou none lov’st is most evident:
For thou art so possessed with murderous hate,
That ‘gainst thy self thou stick’st not to conspire,
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
O! change thy thought, that I may change my mind:
Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?
Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind,
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove:
Make thee another self for love of me,
That beauty still may live in thine or thee.
Sonnet 10: Translation to modern English
Out of a sense of shame you, who are so unwilling to provide for the future, should admit that you don’t love anyone. I grant you, if you like, that you are loved by many, but it’s very clear that you don’t love anyone; because, being someone who doesn’t hesitate to conspire against himself, you are determined to murder your potential progeny. You are prepared to end your noble line, which it should be your main concern to maintain. Oh! Change your mind, so that I can change my opinion of you. Do you, the most beautiful creature, want to be the house where hate lives? Be as gracious and generous to your relatives as you are to everyone else, or at least be generous to yourself. Change your mind for my sake so that you will be a noble person and that your beauty will live on in your descendants.
See other Shakespeare sonnets in modern English >>