SAMPLE LITERAL TRANSLATION

 

William Shakespeare
Sonnet 116, [Let me not to the marriage of true minds] (c. 1594)

 

 

 

ORIGINAL POEM

LITERAL TRANSLATION

 

 

 

 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Donít allow me (within a relationship based on integrity)

 

Admit impediments. Love is not love

to acknowledge or permit obstacles. Love isnít real

 

Which alters when it alteration finds,

which changes when given the chance to change,

4

Or bends with the remover to remove.

or participates in its own undoing when confronted with negative influence.

 

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

Nope! It is a permanent thing

 

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

That stares down lifeís storms and is never affected;

 

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Love is the guiding force to all who seek guidance,

8

Whose worthís unknown, although his height be taken.

Its true value is not known, although many have attempted to measure it.

 

Loveís not Timeís fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Love is not influenced by time, even though the face and body physically change

 

Within his bending sickleís compass come;

Due to the passage of years;

 

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

Love itself doesnít change as our short lives progress through time,

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But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

Rather love will endure for time eternal.

 

If this be error and upon me proved,

If what I propose is to be considered wrong and can be proven as such,

 

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Then I have never written anything, nor has anyone ever loved.