Skip over navigation

Romeo and Juliet

Original Text

Modern Text





95
ROMEO
(taking JULIET’s hand) If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
ROMEO
(taking JULIET’s hand) Your hand is like a holy place that my hand is unworthy to visit. If you’re offended by the touch of my hand, my two lips are standing here like blushing pilgrims, ready to make things better with a kiss.

The first fourteen lines Romeo and Juliet speak together form a sonnet.





JULIET
Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this,
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.
JULIET
Good pilgrim, you don’t give your hand enough credit. By holding my hand you show polite devotion. After all, pilgrims touch the hands of statues of saints. Holding one palm against another is like a kiss.

100
ROMEO
Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?
ROMEO
Don’t saints and pilgrims have lips too?

JULIET
Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
JULIET
Yes, pilgrim—they have lips that they’re supposed to pray with.


ROMEO
O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do.
They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
ROMEO
Well then, saint, let lips do what hands do. I’m praying for you to kiss me. Please grant my prayer so my faith doesn’t turn to despair.

JULIET
Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.
JULIET
Saints don’t move, even when they grant prayers.

105
ROMEO
Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.
ROMEO
Then don’t move while I act out my prayer.
Kisses her
He kisses her.
Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purged.
Now my sin has been taken from my lips by yours.

JULIET
Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
JULIET
Then do my lips now have the sin they took from yours?


110
ROMEO
Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged!
Give me my sin again.
ROMEO
Sin from my lips? You encourage crime with your sweetness. Give me my sin back.
They kiss again
They kiss again

More Help

Previous Next
s