Original Text

Modern Text

Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,
And I will comment upon that offense.
Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt,
Against thy reasons making no defense.
Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so ill,
To set a form upon desired change,
As I’ll myself disgrace, knowing thy will;
I will acquaintance strangle and look strange,
Be absent from thy walks, and in my tongue
Thy sweet belovèd name no more shall dwell,
Lest I, too much profane, should do it wrong
And haply of our old acquaintance tell.
  For thee against myself I’ll vow debate,
  For I must ne'er love him whom thou dost hate.
(Continuing from Sonnet 88) If you tell people you left me because of some fault of mine, I will expand upon whatever you say I did wrong. Say I’m lame, and I’ll start limping immediately, without trying to defend myself against your accusations. My love, in finding a reason to justify leaving me, you can’t disgrace me half as badly as I’ll disgrace myself, as soon as I know what you want. I’ll pretend I don’t know you and act like a stranger. I won’t go where I might run into you. And I won’t mention your beloved name anymore in case I’d dirty it by reminding people that we used to be acquainted. For your sake, I’ll vow to be my own enemy, because I must not love someone whom you hate.

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets