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The expense of spirit in a waste of shame Is lust in action: and till action, lust

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The expense of spirit in a waste of shame Is lust in action: and till action, lust



Datum07.07.2017
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Sonnet 129

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame


Is lust in action: and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight;
Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,
Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait,
On purpose laid to make the taker mad.
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind a dream.

All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.
Dutch Translation:

Hoe de geest ten koste van zichzelf zich in schaamte verspilt


In lust tot de daad: en tot de daad, lust
Meinedig is, moorddadig, bloederig, vol van schuld,
Woest, extreem, onbeschoft, wreed, niet te vertrouwen;
Haastig genoten en even haastig veracht;
Zinloos nagejaagd, en na 't verwerven,
Even zinloos gehaat als verzwolgen aas,
Bestemd om wie het slikt tot radeloze gek te maken.
Dol als je het najaagt en even dol als je het krijgt
En na de jacht, het hebben en extreem bezitten,
Zoet geproefd, maar eens geproefd geen groter wee;
Vooreerst beloofde vreugd, erna een droom.

Dit alles is de wereld bekend, maar niemand vermag

Deze hemel te mijden die mannen naar de hel leidt.
Modern English
Squandering vital energy in a wasteland of moral decay is what satisfying one’s lust amounts to.

And in the anticipation of it lust makes one dishonest, murderous, violent, blameworthy, savage, extreme, rude and not to be trusted.

As soon as its goal has been achieved one despises it.

It’s hunted beyond reason and as soon as it’s had it’s hated beyond reason, like an irresistible bait put in front of one on purpose to make the taker mad.

One is crazy in the pursuit of sex, and during sex too: having had it, having it and hunting for it one goes to extremes.

It’s blissful while it’s happening and a true sorrow afterwards – before an anticipated joy, afterwards nothing but a dream.



Everyone knows this very well, yet no-one knows it well enough to avoid the heaven that leads men to this hell.

  • Dutch Translation
  • Modern English

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