As to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm’d in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplac’d,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgrac’d,
And strength by limping sway disabled
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall’d simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tir’d with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.
Sonnet 66: Translation to modern English
Exhausted with the following things I cry out for releasing death: for example, seeing a deserving person who has been born into poverty; and an undeserving one dressed in the finest clothes; and someone who shows trustworthiness wretchedly betrayed; and public honour shamefully bestowed on the unfit; and unblemished goodness forced into bad ways; and genuine perfection unjustly disgraced; and conviction crippled by corruption; and skill suppressed by those with the power to do it; and stupidity restraining the advance of knowledge; and simple truth being dismissed as simplistic; and good taking orders from evil. Exhausted with all these things I want to escape, except that by dying I would be abandoning my love.