Sonnet 19: Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws (ASL)

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Image description: A white young man is standing in front of a orangish/whitish wall. He is wearing a white T-shirt, grey-ish pants, and a brown belt. He is signing “CHILDREN.”

Purpose: I translated this poem because it is commonly studied in school, and I wanted to provide access for the Deaf community. I do not wish that anyone experience the events of this poem.

Translation notes: I dramatized the first quatrain (adding a flaming scythe) and simplified the second quatrain. For a more balanced approach, I strongly recommend you view Crom Saunders’s ASL translation. He always does justice to the poems that he translate.

Title: Sonnet 19: Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws

Author: William Shakespeare

English text:

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-liv’d Phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one more heinous crime:
O, carve not with the hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen!
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
Yet do thy worst, old Time! Despite thy wrong
My love shall in my verse ever live young.

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