This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 57. Continue reading for complete analysis and meaning in the modern text. For the complete list of 154 sonnets, check the collection of Shakespeare Sonnets with analysis. It is highly recommended to buy “The Monument” by Hank Whittemore, which is the best book on Shakespeare Sonnets.
Shakespeare Sonnet 57 (Original Text)
Being your slave, what should I do but tendUpon the hours and times of your desire?I have no precious time at all to spend,Nor services to do, till you require.Nor dare I chide the world without end hourWhilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,Nor think the bitterness of absence sourWhen you have bid your servant once adieu.Nor dare I question with my jealous thoughtWhere you may be, or your affairs suppose,But, like a sad slave, stay and think of noughtSave, where you are, how happy you make those.So true a fool is love that in your will,Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.
Shakespeare Sonnet 57 Modern Text (Translation)
Shakespeare Sonnet 57 Analysis
The poet says that as he is a slave to the fair youth “Being your slave he has to wait I do but tend upon his every beck and call times of your desire”. He says he has no time of his own “I have no precious time nor any other work Nor services to do except till the youth requires him to do so till you require.”
He says he dare not complain to anyone “Nor dare I chide the world” about the unending slow hours “without-end hour” but will just sit and watch the clock waiting for a command “watch the clock for you.” Neither does the poet express bitterness “or think the bitterness” at the absence of the fair youth “of absence sour,” even after the youth has told him goodbye “you have bid your servant once adieu”
He does not dare question the youth “Nor dare I question” Even though he harbors jealous thoughts about where the youth may be “with my jealous thought” or with whom he is having an affair with, “or your affairs suppose,” instead like a sad servant he will sit “like a sad slave, stay” and think about nothing else “think of nought” except wherever the youth is “where you and” how happy he maybe making others “how happy you make those”
He then says that in being true and sincere love is a fool “So true a fool is love” because though the youth may be unfair to him by doing anything he wishes, “Though you do anything” the poet will not bear any resentment against him “he thinks no ill.”