Friday, October 21, 2011

An Ever-Fixed Mark

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.

~William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

One of my favorites.  I also love this modern day translation that I found here: (oh, Shakespeare, you romantic, you!)

Let me not declare any reasons why two 
True-minded people should not be married. Love is not love 
Which changes when it finds a change in circumstances, 
Or bends from its firm stand even when a lover is unfaithful: 
Oh no! it is a lighthouse 
That sees storms but it never shaken; 
Love is the guiding north star to every lost ship, 
Whose value cannot be calculated, although its altitude can be measured. 
Love is not at the mercy of Time, though physical beauty 
Comes within the compass of his sickle. 
Love does not alter with hours and weeks, 
But, rather, it endures until the last day of life. 
     If I am proved wrong about these thoughts on love 
     Then I recant all that I have written, and no man has
     ever [truly] loved.

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