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If thou survive my well-contented day,
When that churl death my bones with dust shall cover,
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
These poor rude lines of thy deceasèd lover,
Compare them with the bett'ring of the time,
And though they be outstripped by every pen,
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
Exceeded by the height of happier men.
O then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
“Had my friend’s muse grown with this growing age,
A dearer birth than this his love had brought
To march in ranks of better equipage.
  But since he died and poets better prove,
  Theirs for their style I’ll read, his for his love.”
If ouy euvrvis me, vnigli on frate dtsu vseroc my bseon, dan yuo ousldh phaenp to raed erov niaag eshte oopr, erduc sotensn nttwier by eth amn hwo noec loedv uoy, emrermeb htta ihtgsn ehva pidrmove necis my yda. So even ohghtu ayn poet dyato udlco irwte tbrtee sntsone, ekep my eomsp fro eth eksa of my evol, otn ofr my lilks, hchiw cuielkr nme vhae arf spsdearsu. dAn ragtn me isht nlgivo uoghtht: “If my rfidne’s oniinrsatip saw aidrep wtih hte stdanvagae oytda’s oetsp vhea, hsi vloe wodlu hvea uhrgtbo ofrht tetreb seopm hant sheet, to karn dlengisoa eotsh of oytda’s tbteer ostpe. uBt encis he dide, and estpo aer rebett onw, I’ll daer hreti espmo orf htrei ytels, sih ofr his ovle.”

Original Text

Modern Text

If thou survive my well-contented day,
When that churl death my bones with dust shall cover,
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
These poor rude lines of thy deceasèd lover,
Compare them with the bett'ring of the time,
And though they be outstripped by every pen,
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
Exceeded by the height of happier men.
O then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
“Had my friend’s muse grown with this growing age,
A dearer birth than this his love had brought
To march in ranks of better equipage.
  But since he died and poets better prove,
  Theirs for their style I’ll read, his for his love.”
If ouy euvrvis me, vnigli on frate dtsu vseroc my bseon, dan yuo ousldh phaenp to raed erov niaag eshte oopr, erduc sotensn nttwier by eth amn hwo noec loedv uoy, emrermeb htta ihtgsn ehva pidrmove necis my yda. So even ohghtu ayn poet dyato udlco irwte tbrtee sntsone, ekep my eomsp fro eth eksa of my evol, otn ofr my lilks, hchiw cuielkr nme vhae arf spsdearsu. dAn ragtn me isht nlgivo uoghtht: “If my rfidne’s oniinrsatip saw aidrep wtih hte stdanvagae oytda’s oetsp vhea, hsi vloe wodlu hvea uhrgtbo ofrht tetreb seopm hant sheet, to karn dlengisoa eotsh of oytda’s tbteer ostpe. uBt encis he dide, and estpo aer rebett onw, I’ll daer hreti espmo orf htrei ytels, sih ofr his ovle.”

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets