Shakespeare Sonnet 37 ORIGINAL TEXT
As a decrepit father takes delightTo see his active child do deeds of youth,So I, made lame by fortune’s dearest spite,Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,Or any of these all, or all, or more,Entitled in thy parts do crownèd sit,I make my love engrafted to this store.So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,Whilst that this shadow doth such substance giveThat I in thy abundance am sufficed,And by a part of all thy glory live.Look what is best, that best I wish in thee.This wish I have; then ten times happy me.
Shakespeare Sonnet 37 MODERN TEXT (Translation in simple English)
Shakespeare Sonnet 37 Analysis
Just like a worn and neglected father takes pleasure “decrepit father” takes delight in watching his child’s youthful activities, “active child do deeds of youth” similarly the poet who has been plagued with misfortune, “made lame” is comforted “Take all my comfort” by the presence, words and qualities of his friend “of thy worth and truth”.
And regardless of how many qualities his friend has, be it rank, wealth, intelligence and beauty, “whether beauty, birth etc” which he compares to like crowns of glory on the friends head, “in thy parts, do crowned sit” the poet is attaching his love to each of them “my love engrafted to this”
By doing so, the poet feels secure and not shamed or impoverished “then I am not lame, poor” because he says that even the thought of such good qualities “that this shadow” gives him the feeling of security “doth such substance give” and that the love shared with the friends qualities and prosperity is enough to keep him satisfied “thy abundance am suffic’d, This also helps him live on taking his happiness from his friends glory “all thy glory live.”
He then says that whatever the friend feels is the best, “what is best” that he will wish his friend to have “ best I wish in thee” and that makes him also very happy “ten times happy me!”