When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
Called to that audit by advis’d respects;
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass,
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye,
When love, converted from the thing it was,
Shall reasons find of settled gravity;
Against that time do I ensconce me here,
Within the knowledge of mine own desert,
And this my hand, against my self uprear,
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part:
To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws,
Since why to love I can allege no cause.
Sonnet 49: Translation to modern English
Anticipating that time, if that time ever comes, when I will see you frowning at my defects; when after serious consideration, your love for me has outlived itself – anticipating that time when you will walk past me as you would a stranger, hardly even glancing at me with that sun-like eye; when that love has changed to something else, informed, now, by serious judgment – anticipating that time, I’m ensconcing myself here, in the full knowledge of what I deserve, testifying against myself to defend the arguments in your favour. All the arguments for leaving me are on your side since I can offer none for your loving me.