Sonnet 151: Love is too young to know what conscience is;

Sonnet 151

Love is too young to know what conscience is;
Yet who knows not conscience is born of love?
Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,
Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove:
For, thou betraying me, I do betray
My nobler part to my gross body’s treason;
My soul doth tell my body that he may
Triumph in love; flesh stays no father reason;
But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee
As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride,
He is contented thy poor drudge to be,
To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.
No want of conscience hold it that I call
Her ‘love’ for whose dear love I rise and fall.

Sonnet 151: Modern English Translation

Love is too inexperienced to understand morality,
Yet who doesn’t know that morality is born of love?
So, my dear deceiver, don’t blame me for my mistakes,
Lest you become guilty of my faults:
For if you betray me, I also betray
My better self to my bodily desires;
My soul tells my body that it can
Indulge in love, and the flesh overpowers reason;
But, rising at the sound of your name,
My body points to you as its victorious prize.
Proud of this victory,
It is content being your loyal servant,
Standing by your side, and falling by your side.
So, it’s not a lack of morality when I call
Her ‘love’ for whom I rise and fall.


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