So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found.
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure;
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then better’d that the world may see my pleasure:
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight,
And by and by clean starved for a look;
Possessing or pursuing no delight
Save what is had, or must from you be took.
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all, or all away.
Sonnet 75: Translation to modern English
You are to me what food is to life, or what spring showers are to the earth, and to achieve peace of mind about you I struggle with myself as a miser struggles with his wealth. One moment he proudly enjoys it and the next he’s worried that the thieving age we live in will steal his treasure – now counting it best to keep you to myself, then reckoning it better if the world could see my pleasure. At times I feel full from feasting on your looks but eventually absolutely starving for a glimpse of you, having or looking for no pleasure except what you give me and what I can take from you. That’s why I either waste away with hunger day after day, or either stuff myself with you or go without.
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