Reading of Sonnet 35
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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
No more be grieved at that which thou hast done.
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
All men make faults, and even I in this,
Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are.
For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense–
Thy adverse party is thy advocate–
And ‘gainst myself a lawful plea commence.
Such civil war is in my love and hate
That I an accessary needs must be
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.
Simplified Modern English Translation
Do not grieve anymore for what you have done.
Roses have thorns, and silver streams can be muddied with dirt;
clouds and eclipses occasionally hide both the moon and the sun,
and destructive caterpillars can live in the sweetest flower buds.
Everyone makes mistakes, and even I in composing this sonnet,
dismissing your sin by making dubious comparisons,
corrupting my own self, in covering up your wrongdoings.
Excusing your sins is more of a sin than the original infraction.
For to excuse your sensual fault I bring in legalisms–
the one who is hurt (me) is actually arguing on your behalf! —
and to my own detriment construct some legalistic excuse for you.
Such a civil war is in my love and hate for you
that I must actually be an accessary
to that sweet thief who is robbing from me!
Text from Original 1609 Quarto
Transcription courtesy of University of Virginia Library:
No more bee greeu’d at that which thou hast done,
Roses haue thornes, and siluer fountaines mud,
Cloudes and eclipses staine both Moone and Sunne,
And loathsome canker liues in sweetest bud.
All men make faults, and euen I in this,
Authorizing thy trespas with compare,
My selfe corrupting saluing thy amisse,
Excusing their¹ sins more then their¹ sins are:
For to thy sensuall fault I bring in sence,
Thy aduerse party is thy Aduocate,
And gainst my selfe a lawfull plea commence,
Such ciuill war is in my loue and hate,
That I an accessary needs must be,
To that sweet theefe which sourely robs from me.
Wording differences between the text and the reading are noted with a superscript: