Attention! Some of this material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. It is also illegal to reprint copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator.
To inquire about permissions and rates, contact Emily Ezust at
If you wish to reprint translations, please make sure you include the names of the translators in your email. They are below each translation.
Note: You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
Who will believe my verse in time to come, If it were fill'd with your most high deserts? Though yet heaven knows it is but as a tomb Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts. If I could write the beauty of your eyes, And in fresh numbers number all your graces, The age to come would say 'This poet lies; Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.' So should my papers, yellow'd with their age, Be scorn'd, like old men of less truth than tongue, And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage And stretched metre of an antique song: But were some child of yours alive that time, You should live twice, in it, and in my rhyme.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), no title, appears in Sonnets, no. 17 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Ralph R. Guenther , "Who will believe my verse", 1960, first performed 1961 [soprano, flute, and violoncello], from Two Shakespearean Sonnets, no. 1. [text not verified]
- by Richard Simpson (1820 - 1876), "Sonnet XVII", 1864-5. [medium voice and piano] [text not verified]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo) , no title, from Sonnets de Shakespeare, no. 17, published 1857
- ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Chi crederà ai miei versi in un tempo futuro", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (François Pierre Guillaume Guizot) , no title, from Oeuvres Complètes de Shakspeare Volume VIII, in Sonnets, no. 17, published 1863
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2007-10-12
Line count: 14
Word count: 124
Chi crederà ai miei versi in un tempo futuro, se li facessi colmi di ogni tuo pregio sommo? Sono essi, lo sa il cielo, come un sepolcro oscuro che la tua vita nasconde, e rivela ben poco. Se della bellezza degli occhi io dovessi narrare e, in fresche rime, di ogni tua grazia dar conto "Sta mentendo il poeta" - direbbe l'età a venire - "tratti così divini non sono di umano volto". Così i miei fogli, ormai ingialliti dal tempo, sarebbero derisi, come un vecchio imbroglione, e ogni qualità, che è tua a buon diritto, creduta furore poetico o antiquata canzone: Ma se a quel tempo un tuo discendente avessi vivresti tu due volte: in lui e nei miei versi.
- Translation from English to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2011 by Ferdinando Albeggiani, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
- a text in English by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), no title, appears in Sonnets, no. 17
This text was added to the website: 2011-11-11
Line count: 14
Word count: 121