Original Text

Modern Text

Ah, wherefore with infection should he live,
And with his presence grace impiety,
That sin by him advantage should achieve
And lace itself with his society?
Why should false painting imitate his cheek,
And steal dead seeing of his living hue?
Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?
Why should he live, now nature bankrupt is,
Beggared of blood to blush through lively veins?
For she hath no exchequer now but his,
And, proud of many, lives upon his gains.
  O him she stores, to show what wealth she had
  In days long since, before these last so bad.
(Continuing from Sonnet 66) Ah, why should the man I love have to live in the midst of all this corruption, gracing sinners with his presence so they can take advantage of their association with him? Why should portrait painters and makeup artists be allowed to imitate his face, making lifeless copies of his vibrant beauty? Why should those less beautiful than he imitate roses by false means, when he is a true rose? And why should he live, now that Nature has degenerated so much that she can hardly infuse anyone with vigor and beauty? Because she has no fund of beauty now except him and, having so many children to provide for, needs to borrow from his store. Oh, Nature keeps him alive in order to show the wealth of beauty she had long ago, before these recent bad days came.

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