Original Text

Modern Text

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet’st,
And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine ántique pen.
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
  Yet do thy worst, old Time; despite thy wrong,
  My love shall in my verse ever live young.
Devouring Time, go ahead and blunt the lion’s paws. Make the earth swallow up her own creatures. Pluck the sharp teeth out of the fierce tiger’s jaws, and burn the long-lived phoenix in its own blood. Make happy and sad times as you fly by, and do whatever you want, swift-footed Time, to the wide world and all its vanishing delights. But I forbid you to commit one heinous crime. Oh, don’t carve wrinkles into my love’s beautiful forehead, and don’t draw lines there with your old pen. Let him pass through time untainted, to serve as the model of beauty for men to come. But do your worst, old Time. Despite your wrongs, my love will stay young forever in my poetry.

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets