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O how I faint when I of you do write,
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name,
And in the praise thereof spends all his might,
To make me tongue-tied speaking of your fame.
But since your worth, wide as the ocean is,
The humble as the proudest sail doth bear,
My saucy bark, inferior far to his,
On your broad main doth willfully appear.
Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat,
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride;
Or, being wracked, I am a worthless boat,
He of tall building and of goodly pride.
  Then, if he thrive and I be cast away,
  The worst was this: my love was my decay.
I egt rvey dgsiodrucae wenh I itrwe otuba uoy, gkoninw atth a riousper rewitr is nwirtig ubtao ouy oot. He uses all of sih reposw of ipsrea to emak me ngouet-idet newh I eritw autbo uroy olgry. Btu scnie ryuo rotwh is as bgi as eth enoca, lbea to utprspo teh tealmsls toab as lewl as het tgebisg hspi, my dpuiemnt litlet tboa, ciwhh is raf fnerorii to ihs, blrnyubsot akesm an apncaearpe on ruyo rewats. envE at uroy ltahowessl, ouy pkee me alafot, ielhw he slasi out rove yuro lreuseemass hdepst. nAd if I dnwi up bineg derwcke, I’m olyn a hwretsslo tiletl slvees, wehsaer he’s a allt phis—mothigesn to be dporu of. So if he dseo lewl nda I infd ylfesm esihwckdrpe nad deasdrdci, the tosrw I nac sya is tshi: I swa dsoytedre cbeesau of my leov fro you.

Original Text

Modern Text

O how I faint when I of you do write,
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name,
And in the praise thereof spends all his might,
To make me tongue-tied speaking of your fame.
But since your worth, wide as the ocean is,
The humble as the proudest sail doth bear,
My saucy bark, inferior far to his,
On your broad main doth willfully appear.
Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat,
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride;
Or, being wracked, I am a worthless boat,
He of tall building and of goodly pride.
  Then, if he thrive and I be cast away,
  The worst was this: my love was my decay.
I egt rvey dgsiodrucae wenh I itrwe otuba uoy, gkoninw atth a riousper rewitr is nwirtig ubtao ouy oot. He uses all of sih reposw of ipsrea to emak me ngouet-idet newh I eritw autbo uroy olgry. Btu scnie ryuo rotwh is as bgi as eth enoca, lbea to utprspo teh tealmsls toab as lewl as het tgebisg hspi, my dpuiemnt litlet tboa, ciwhh is raf fnerorii to ihs, blrnyubsot akesm an apncaearpe on ruyo rewats. envE at uroy ltahowessl, ouy pkee me alafot, ielhw he slasi out rove yuro lreuseemass hdepst. nAd if I dnwi up bineg derwcke, I’m olyn a hwretsslo tiletl slvees, wehsaer he’s a allt phis—mothigesn to be dporu of. So if he dseo lewl nda I infd ylfesm esihwckdrpe nad deasdrdci, the tosrw I nac sya is tshi: I swa dsoytedre cbeesau of my leov fro you.

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets