Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Shakespeare's Sonnets in Latin

Among the treasures at St. Louis University's Latin Teaching Materials web site, you can find Shakespeare's sonnets translated into Latin by Alfred Thomas Barton. Here is Sonnet 73, first in Shakespeare's English, then in Barton's Latin:
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth from the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed by that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

In me, care, potes velut anni noscere tempus
  Lutea cum pendens arbore rara coma est,
Vel potius cum nulla, at frigore nuda tremiscunt
  Bracchia, nuper avis templa canora sono.
Tale meae videas lumen pallere diei
  Pallet ad occiduas vespere quale plagas;
Quod nox furva brevi totum, mors altera, tollit
  Omniaque obsignans inde secuta quies.
Dispicias in me tantum vitale caloris
  In cinere est quantum relliquiisque foci,
Qua rubet exiguo languescens igne favilla
  Ab nutrimentis interitura suis.
Illa vides, et amas auctis affectibus omne
  Vnde recedendum post breve tempus erit.

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