Reading of Sonnet 47
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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
Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
And each doth good turns now unto the other.
When that mine eye is famished for a look,
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
With my love’s picture then my eye doth feast
And to the painted banquet bids my heart.
Another time mine eye is my heart’s guest
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part.
So, either by thy picture or my love,
Thyself away are present still with me;
For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them, and they with thee;
Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
Awakes my heart to heart’s and eye’s delight.
Simplified Modern English Translation
My eye and my heart have made an alliance with each other
and each now does good deeds for the other.
For example, when my eye is starved for a look at you,
or my lovestruck heart is smothering itself in sighs,
my eye will feast itself on your picture,
and generously invite my heart to enjoy the view.
Another time my eye may be my heart’s guest
and be allowed to share in my heart’s loving thoughts.
So, either by your picture or my heart’s love,
even though far away, you are continually present with me;
for you can not travel farther than my thoughts,
and I am always with them, and they are always with you;
or, even as I sleep, with your picture in my dreams
my heart and eyes remain immersed in love’s delight.
Text from Original 1609 Quarto
Transcription courtesy of University of Virginia Library:
Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is tooke,
And each doth good turnes now vnto the other,
When that mine eye is famisht for a looke,
Or heart in loue with sighes himselfe doth smother;
With my loues picture then my eye doth feast,
And to the painted banquet bids my heart:
An other time mine eye is my hearts guest,
And in his thoughts of loue doth share a part.
So either by thy picture or my loue,
Thy selfe away, are present still with me,
For thou nor¹ farther then my thoughts canst moue,
And I am still with them, and they with thee.
Or if they sleepe, thy picture in my sight
Awakes my heart, to hearts and eyes delight.
Wording differences between the text and the reading are noted with a superscript:
¹ not (“no” could also be used)