Original Text

Modern Text

A woman’s face, with nature’s own hand painted,
Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;
A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change, as is false women’s fashion;
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
A man in hue, all hues in his controlling,
Which steals men’s eyes and women’s souls amazeth.
And for a woman wert thou first created,
Till nature as she wrought thee fell a-doting,
And by addition me of thee defeated,
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
  But since she pricked thee out for women’s pleasure,
  Mine be thy love, and thy love’s use their treasure.
Your face is as pretty as a woman’s, but you don’t even have to use makeup—you, the man (or should I say woman?) I love. Your heart is as gentle as a woman’s, but it isn’t cheating like theirs. Your eyes are prettier than women’s, but not as roving—you bless everything you look at. You’ve got the good looks of a handsome man, but you attract both women and men. When Mother Nature made you, she originally intended to make you a woman, but then she got carried away with her creation and screwed me by adding a certainthing that I have no use for. But since she gave you a prick to please women, I’ll keep your love, and they can enjoy your body.

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets