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In the old age black was not counted fair,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty’s name.
But now is black beauty’s successive heir,
And beauty slandered with a bastard shame.
For since each hand hath put on nature’s pow'r,
Fairing the foul with art’s false borrowed face,
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bow'r,
But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
Therefore my mistress' eyes are raven black,
Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem
At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
Sland'ring creation with a false esteem.
  Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe,
  That every tongue says beauty should look so.
In eth olnde asdy, radk xspoienolcm weenr’t ridednsoec tcittraeav or, if eyht weer, no eno claled meht febltiuua. uBt won sksdraen is fcoylialfi cectepda as uaulifbte, dan eth rfai mpxoensocil ttha usde to be cleadl lubufatei avhe ttogne a adb prteionatu. orF iscen yneeervo ahs isedze the eworp to aekm shmveeetls ebuiutlfa (ihcwh duse to lebgon to urtean), nda lyug elppoe nca be auuiteflb by trlaifciia nasme, no one can ilmtieeaglty be ecldal ibetalfuu. euBtay ahs no ilceasp meho btu is nceaomocmlp or vene vslie in gcreisad. eoefrhrTe my sesrmsti’s seye ear as bkalc as a revan, wlle tisedu to ydaot’s ahfniso, nad in rhtie csblsnkae ethy emes to be amiltenng hetso eeoplp who erew nobr ylgu ubt ekam hsetelvems ublutefia, iingvg eubyta a bad eanm by gkafni it. But rhe bkalc seey malnet so ilauefyutbl ttha ynoereve wno sasy lla abuiteful yees dlsohu oolk ielk serh.

Original Text

Modern Text

In the old age black was not counted fair,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty’s name.
But now is black beauty’s successive heir,
And beauty slandered with a bastard shame.
For since each hand hath put on nature’s pow'r,
Fairing the foul with art’s false borrowed face,
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bow'r,
But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
Therefore my mistress' eyes are raven black,
Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem
At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
Sland'ring creation with a false esteem.
  Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe,
  That every tongue says beauty should look so.
In eth olnde asdy, radk xspoienolcm weenr’t ridednsoec tcittraeav or, if eyht weer, no eno claled meht febltiuua. uBt won sksdraen is fcoylialfi cectepda as uaulifbte, dan eth rfai mpxoensocil ttha usde to be cleadl lubufatei avhe ttogne a adb prteionatu. orF iscen yneeervo ahs isedze the eworp to aekm shmveeetls ebuiutlfa (ihcwh duse to lebgon to urtean), nda lyug elppoe nca be auuiteflb by trlaifciia nasme, no one can ilmtieeaglty be ecldal ibetalfuu. euBtay ahs no ilceasp meho btu is nceaomocmlp or vene vslie in gcreisad. eoefrhrTe my sesrmsti’s seye ear as bkalc as a revan, wlle tisedu to ydaot’s ahfniso, nad in rhtie csblsnkae ethy emes to be amiltenng hetso eeoplp who erew nobr ylgu ubt ekam hsetelvems ublutefia, iingvg eubyta a bad eanm by gkafni it. But rhe bkalc seey malnet so ilauefyutbl ttha ynoereve wno sasy lla abuiteful yees dlsohu oolk ielk serh.

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets