To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn’d,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn’d,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv’d;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv’d:
For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:
Ere you were born was beauty’s summer dead.
Sonnet 1o5: Translation to modern English
Don’t let anyone call my love idolatry nor say that I regard my beloved as an idol because all my songs and praises have been directed to one person and always will be. The one I love is kind today, will be kind tomorrow – forever wonderfully constant. And so, because my verse is confined to something that’s permanently constant, it always expresses the same thing, never varying. All I write about is beauty, kindness and faithfulness. I write about the beautiful, kind and faithful in different variations, and that is how I expend my creativity – three themes in one, offering wonderful scope. Beauty, kindness and faithfulness are often found separately and have never been found in one person until now.
See other Shakespeare sonnets in modern English >>