Reading of Sonnet 30
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The images in the YouTube video are from an original 1609 edition of Shake-speares Sonnets held by the British Library. It is one of only thirteen copies in existence. Images courtesy of the Octavo Corporation.
Modernized Spelling and Punctuation
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste;
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
Simplified Modern English Translation
When in periods of sweet silent thought
I summon up memories of times gone by,
I lament the fact that many of my loved ones are no longer here
and relive the sorrows that caused this to be.
Then I allow myself to cry, although crying is not something I usually do,
for precious friends who are now gone,
and weep again for things that happened a long time ago,
and moan the loss of many a vanished sight.
My dream allows myself to grieve again
and relive in detail each terrible incident
as my memories recount each individual sorrow,
which I listen to as if for the first time.
But if I interrupt this vision and think about you, dear friend,
all losses are restored and sorrows end.
Text from Original 1609 Quarto
Transcription courtesy of University of Virginia Library:
When to the Sessions of sweet silent thought,
I sommon vp remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lacke of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new waile my deare times waste:
Then can I drowne an eye (vn-vs’d to flow)
For precious friends hid in deaths dateles night,
And weepe a fresh loues long since canceld woe,
And mone th’expence of many a vannisht sight.
Then can I greeue at greeuances fore-gon,
And heauily from woe to woe tell ore
The sad account of fore-bemoned mone,
Which I new pay as if not payd before.
But if the while I thinke on thee (deare friend)
All losses are restord, and sorrowes end.