That god forbid, that made me first your slave,
I should in thought control your times of pleasure,
Or at your hand the account of hours to crave,
Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure!
O! let me suffer, being at your beck,
The imprison’d absence of your liberty;
And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check,
Without accusing you of injury.
Be where you list, your charter is so strong
That you yourself may privilege your time
To what you will; to you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime.
I am to wait, though waiting so be hell,
Not blame your pleasure be it ill or well.
Sonnet 58: Translation to modern English
May that god who who made me your slave in the first place forbid that I should even think about trying to control what you do with your own time or demand that you account to me for it: as your slave I’m obliged to attend on your leisure. Oh, being at your beck and call, let me bear with patience your liberty to go out and do as you like as I wait here in this prison. And let me cultivate the patience to endure each disappointment without accusing you of hurting me. Go wherever you like, your license is so strong that you can suit yourself as to what you do. You have the right to pardon yourself for any crime you may commit. I have to wait, even though waiting is hell, and not blame you for following your pleasure, whatever it may be – good or bad.
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