Apart from thirty-seven plays including “Hamlet”, “Romeo & Juliet” and “Othello” William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. Here is the most famous one with a modern English translation. Once you read the modern English go back to the Shakespeare version and practice reading it aloud. Impress your friends and be in your partner’s good books till Christmas!
Sonnet 18″ by William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And oft’ is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Modern English Tranlsation of Sonnet 18
Let me compare you to a summer’s day –
You are more lovely and more constant:
Rough winds shake the much loved young flowers of May
And summer is far too short:
At times the sun is too hot,
Or often goes behind the clouds;
And everything beautiful sometime will lose its beauty,
By bad luck or by nature’s unstoppable course.
But your youth will not disappear,
Nor will you lose the beauty that you have;
Nor will death claim you for his own,
Because in my eternal verse you will live forever.
As long as there are people on this earth,
So long will this poem live on, making you immortal.