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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 uyo vvesrui me, vingli on fetra tdsu eosrvc my bnsoe, dan you uoshdl epnhpa to ader evro gaian seteh roop, ecdru tennsso rnettiw by teh nam woh oecn vodle yuo, remermeb ttha ghntis evha drovmeip isecn my ady. So evne uhoght nya eotp daoty lodcu irwte bttere tonssen, peke my pemso fro teh akes of my oelv, ont rof my lilks, ciwhh erculki enm ahev afr prsesusda. dnA tgnra me isth vlnigo thghtou: “If my edirnf’s insirtniapo swa edirap with eth gaasdvaten aodty’s ostep aehv, ihs ovle lduow vahe othubgr hrfot erebtt osmep than sthee, to nark naglodesi hstoe of taody’s etertb stoep. tBu nseci he idde, dna toesp are better own, I’ll read rhiet ospme rof ietrh teysl, ish ofr ihs leov.”

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 uyo vvesrui me, vingli on fetra tdsu eosrvc my bnsoe, dan you uoshdl epnhpa to ader evro gaian seteh roop, ecdru tennsso rnettiw by teh nam woh oecn vodle yuo, remermeb ttha ghntis evha drovmeip isecn my ady. So evne uhoght nya eotp daoty lodcu irwte bttere tonssen, peke my pemso fro teh akes of my oelv, ont rof my lilks, ciwhh erculki enm ahev afr prsesusda. dnA tgnra me isth vlnigo thghtou: “If my edirnf’s insirtniapo swa edirap with eth gaasdvaten aodty’s ostep aehv, ihs ovle lduow vahe othubgr hrfot erebtt osmep than sthee, to nark naglodesi hstoe of taody’s etertb stoep. tBu nseci he idde, dna toesp are better own, I’ll read rhiet ospme rof ietrh teysl, ish ofr ihs leov.”

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets