Reading of Sonnet 49
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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
Against that time, if ever that time come,
When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
Whenas thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
Called to that audit by advised respects;
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass
And scarcely greet me with that sun thine eye,
When love, converted from the thing it was,
Shall reasons find of settled gravity;
Against that time do I ensconce me here
Within the knowledge of mine own desert,
And this my hand against myself uprear
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part.
To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws,
Since why to love I can allege no cause.
Simplified Modern English Translation
In preparation for that time, if ever that time may come,
when I shall see you frown on my defects,
when your affection for me reaches its final limit and begins to retreat,
called to that reckoning by prudent considerations;
against that time when you shall pass by like a stranger,
and barely make eye contact with me,
when love, converted from the thing it was,
shall find reasons for a more distant relationship;
against that time do I shelter myself now,
posessed with the knowledge of my own deserving,
and even raise my hand to bear witness against myself
defending the lawful reasons for your actions.
To leave poor me you have every legal right,
since why to love I can allege no cause.
Text from Original 1609 Quarto
Transcription courtesy of University of Virginia Library:
Against that time (if euer that time come)
When I shall see thee frowne on my defects,
When as thy loue hath cast his vtmost summe,
Cauld to that audite by aduis’d respects,
Against that time when thou shalt strangely passe,
And scarcely greete me with that sunne thine eye,
When loue conuerted from the thing it was
Shall reasons finde of setled grauitie.
Against that time do I insconce me here
Within the knowledge of mine own desart,
And this my hand, against my selfe vpreare,
To guard the lawfull reasons on thy part,
To leaue poore me, thou hast the strength of lawes,
Since why to loue, I can alledge no cause.