Being your slave what should I do but tend
Upon the hours, and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend;
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world without end hour,
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour,
When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are, how happy you make those.
So true a fool is love, that in your will,
Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.
Sonnet 57: Translation to modern English
As your slave, what else should I do but spend my time waiting to do whatever you want me to? I don’t have any valuable time to spend, or any tasks to do until you need that. Nor do I dare complain about the endless hours as I watch the clock, waiting for you, my sovereign, nor contemplate the bitterness of separation after you’ve said goodbye to your servant. Nor do I dare allow my jealous thoughts to wonder where you may be, or speculate about what you may be up to, but like a forlorn slave, I wait, thinking of nothing except how happy you’re making whoever you are with. Love makes such a fool out of one that he thinks nothing about whatever you do to satisfy your ideas.