Reading of Sonnet 57
Click on video to play
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
Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend
Nor services to do till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu.
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save where you are how happy you make those.
So true a fool is love that in your will,
Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.
Simplified Modern English Translation
Being your slave, what should I do but wait
patiently for those moments when you may want to see me?
I have no time of my own to spend
or things to do until you require my services.
Nor will I complain about the time that is wasted
while I, my love, stare at the clock waiting for you to call me,
nor will I be bitter that I cannot see you
when you have told me to leave your presence,
nor will I question with my jealous thoughts
where you may be, or what you may be doing,
but, like a sad slave, stay here and think of nothing
other than how happy you make everyone, wherever you may be.
My love for you is so overwhelming that, whatever your desires,
no matter what you do, I will always love you.
Text from Original 1609 Quarto
Transcription courtesy of University of Virginia Library:
Being your slaue what should I doe but tend,
Vpon the houres, and times of your desire?
I haue no precious time at al to spend;
Nor seruices to doe til you require.
Nor dare I chide the world without end houre,
Whilst I (my soueraine) watch the clock for you,
Nor thinke the bitternesse of absence sowre,
When you haue bid your seruant once adieue.
Nor dare I question with my iealious thought,
Where you may be, or your affaires suppose,
But like a sad slaue stay and thinke of nought
Saue where you are, how happy you make those.
So true a foole is loue, that in your Will,
(Though you doe any thing) he thinkes no ill.