Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Sonnet 116: Translation to modern English

I would not admit that anything could interfere with the union of two people who love each other. Love that alters with changing circumstances is not love, nor if it bends from its firm state when someone tries to destroy it. Oh no, it’s an eternally fixed point that watches storms but is never itself shaken by them. It is the star by which every lost ship can be guided: one can calculate it’s distance but not gauge its quality. Love doesn’t depend on Time, although the rosy lips and cheeks of youth eventually come within the compass of Time’s sickle. Love doesn’t alter as the days and weeks go by but endures until death. If I’m wrong about this then I’ve never written anything and no man has ever loved.


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  1. Eduoard Vernier
    Eduoard Vernier says:

    I believe there is more to that Sonnet than many have stated. In all translations, something does not quite reveals the counterfactual emotional truth of True Love and why marriage would not be shaken when True Love exist and, why True Love its unshaken by any circumstances unless one allows someone to come into one’s marriage. It is to say, that, if two people’s commitment and vows are true to True Love for life, it can not and it would not be broken in any way or manner, or at any point in time (to say the least) by any outsider one does not let in, when True Love Exists your temptations and curiosities do not allow your vows to be unshaken.

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