Today is Shakespeare’s birthday, well, the day we call his birthday, it is also Saint George’s Day here in England. Let’s celebrate the great English poet then with his Sonnet 116, incorrectly numbered as 119 in the early “quarto” edition of the sonnets.
Here it is with Shakespeare’s spelling mistakes corrected – he was a good poet even if he couldn’t spell:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
I thought I’d read it to you – here goes: