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Against that time (if ever that time come)
When I shall see thee frown on my defects;
Whenas thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
Called to that audit by advised respects;
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass,
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye;
When love, converted from the thing it was,
Shall reasons find of settled gravity;
Against that time do I ensconce me here
Within the knowledge of mine own desert,
And this my hand against myself uprear
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part:
  To leave poor me, thou hast the strength of laws,
  Since why to love I can allege no cause.
In anticipation of the time, if it ever comes, when I will see you frown at my defects; when mature reflection tells you that you’ve come to the end of your love for me; in anticipation of that time when you will pass by me like a stranger, barely even acknowledging me with a glance of your brilliant eye; when your love for me isn’t love anymore and you’re guided only by somber judgment—in anticipation of that time, I’m establishing myself here, knowing how little I really deserve, and I’m giving testimony against myself to defend the justice of your future actions. You have every right to leave poor me—all the laws of reason back you up—since I can’t offer any justification for your loving me.

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets