Reading of Sonnet 73
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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
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
Simplified Modern English Translation
That advanced age that you now see in me –
like a tree in late autumn without its leaves
shaking against the cold of the approaching winter –
represents only a sad shell of my former self.
You can see in me the twilight of the day
which, after the sun has set,
inevitably leads towards black night
and the sleep of death that brings eternal rest.
You can see in me the last glowing embers of the fire
that are all that is left of my former youth
and is the deathbed where I will be put to rest,
consumed by the fiery fuel of a life that is almost used up.
You can see all this, which makes your love more strong,
to love me still, knowing that I will be gone before long.
Text from Original 1609 Quarto
Transcription courtesy of University of Virginia Library:
That time of yeare thou maist in me behold,
When yellow leaues, or none, or few doe hange
Vpon those boughes which shake against the could,
Bare ruin’d quiers, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twi-light of such day,
As after Sun-set fadeth in the West,
Which by and by blacke night doth take away,
Deaths second selfe that seals vp all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lye,
As the death bed, whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nurrisht by.
This thou perceu’st, which makes thy loue more strong,
To loue that well, which thou must leaue ere long.