Reading of Sonnet 33
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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
Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace.
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all-triumphant splendor on my brow,
But out, alack, he was but one hour mine;
The region cloud hath masked him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.
Simplified Modern English Translation
On many mornings I have seen the sun
shine on the mountain-tops with royal beams,
highlighting the green meadows with glorious light,
and converting pale rivers into golden streams;
then, just as quickly, allow dark clouds to form
to obscure his beautiful and heavenly face,
and from the darkened world hide his light
and creep toward sunset in disgrace.
In a similar way, my beloved one early morning did shine
with all-triumphant splendor on my face,
but alas, he graced me with his good favor for only a single hour,
dark clouds quickly came between us, masking his view.
Yet I do not disdain him one bit for this;
my beloved – the sun of my world – may darken, when heaven’s sun does the same.
Text from Original 1609 Quarto
Transcription courtesy of University of Virginia Library:
Full many a glorious morning haue I seene,
Flatter the mountaine tops with soueraine eie,
Kissing with golden face the meddowes greene;
Guilding pale streames with heauenly alcumy:
Anon permit the basest cloudes to ride,
With ougly rack on his celestiall face,
And from the for-lorne world his visage hide
Stealing vnseene to west with this disgrace:
Euen so my Sunne one early morne did shine,
With all triumphant splendor on my brow,
But out alack, he was but one houre mine,
The region cloude hath mask’d him from me now.
Yet him for this, my loue no whit disdaineth,
*Suns of the world may staine, whe[n] heauens sun staineth.
* indicates fully justified line, compositor may have adjusted spelling to fit the line.