Original Text

Modern Text

Farewell, thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know’st thy estimate.
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting,
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gav’st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav’st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgment making.
  Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter:
  In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.
Goodbye; you’re too valuable for me to hold onto, and you probably know exactly what you’re worth. Your high value gives you the right to leave me; you have severed the ties that bind me to you. For what hold do I have over you except the hold that you choose to give me, and how do I deserve such a treasure? There’s nothing in me to justify such a beautiful gift, so my right to possess you is reverting back to you. When you gave yourself to me, you didn’t know your own worth, or else you were mistaken about me, the person you gave yourself to. So the great gift you gave me, being based on a false estimate, goes back to you now that you’re able to make a better judgment. Thus, the time in which I had you was like a flattering dream; while I was asleep, I thought I was a king, but when I woke up, I found that was not the case.

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