Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul, and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed
Beated and chopp’d with tanned antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
‘Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.
Sonnet 62: Translation to modern English
The sin of self-love conditions everything I see, and my entire soul, and every one of my faculties. And there’s no remedy for this sin, it’s so deeply rooted in my heart. I keep thinking that no-one’s face is as gracious as mine is; no body as well-proportioned; no-one’s integrity as sound. I regard myself as surpassing everyone else in everything. But when my mirror shows me what I’m really like – beaten and creased by ageing and the sun – I conclude the exact opposite to what my self-love tells me. To love myself so much would be a disgrace. It’s you, my self, that I’m really praising when I praise myself, giving my old age the beauty of your youth.
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