As a decrepit father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So I, made lame by fortune’s dearest spite,
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Entitled in thy parts do crownèd sit,
I make my love engrafted to this store.
So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
That I in thy abundance am sufficed,
And by a part of all thy glory live.
Look what is best, that best I wish in thee.
This wish I have; then ten times happy me.
Just as a decrepit father takes pleasure in seeing his active child engaging in youthful activities, so I, whom misfortune has injured and crippled, take all the comfort I can in your good worth and fidelity. For whether beauty, nobility, wealth, and intelligence—or any one of these, or all of them, or more than these—are your princely attributes, I’m attaching my love to them. I’m not lame, poor, or despised, as long as this fantasy of mine lets me take so much satisfaction in your good luck and I can live off part of your glory. Whatever is best, that’s what I wish you to have. Since I have this wish, I’m lucky ten times over.