Wainwright, Rufus - Sonnet 29 Lyrics

When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope
With what I most enjoy contented least

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising
Haply I think on thee and then my state
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth sings hymns at heaven’s gate

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings

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Wainwright, Rufus Sonnet 29 Comments
  1. Sarah Barbieri

    Que leitura e voz. Fazia tempo que não ouvia algo profundo. De arrepiar.

  2. Abhinav Ck

    Indians like

  3. The Professional Edge

    Seems a bit cheerful for a sonnet about hating yourself and being bitter with envy.

  4. Maria Segura

    high key boppin😤

  5. sylvia Scott

    Recently on KPBS.So beautifully presented.So much feeling and expression.A tearful but enjoyable and heartfelt entertainment!! You must keep bringing these works forth.Loved the video,over,and over!

  6. sylvia Scott

    The best yet.Shakespeare well performed.

  7. Marc O'Sullivan


  8. Rosa Smith

    I'm just totally in love with this

  9. Harbhadrasinh Sarvaiya

    Very nicely recited. Liked it very much.

  10. Logan Beeman

    very nice song

  11. Angela Trainor

    Since hearing, this has accompanied me everywhere. It's never far now. Thanks so very much.

  12. Maria I Mota

    So, so beautiful!

  13. Josie5100

    - Wonderful!

  14. pointyfinger

    I wish that my heart could write this!

  15. Sidney Frederickson

    I had hoped they would have Lorena McKennit's version of "Cimbaline", but this more than fills the bill.

  16. guilleum2

    Just heard this on Shakespeare Live and oh my goodness

    Van Qron

    hey me too

  17. Graciela Pereyra

    Lo que se escribe ....lo que se dice y como se dice .....una fiesta para los sentidos. Salud Rufus !!!!

  18. Tanya Nightingale

    My favourite of all Shakespeare's sonnets, sung by one of my favourite artists. Makes me cry every time. Thank you, both.

  19. Eddie Moore

    a f****** genius

  20. 3141cpl

    Brilliant, simply brilliant.

  21. Gabe Hernandez

    Gorgeous <3

  22. Anne Marie Callaghan

    A perfect musical arrangement to foreground this stunning lyric!

    Sidney Frederickson

    Love the use of a banjo in place of a lute, theobro or guitar. A brighter, louder sound.

  23. Susan Gowan

    Saw him sing this on "Shakespeare Live" - the highlight of the show for me


    agreed susan. great performance. can't believe it's not on youtube somewhere.

    Gwenyth Cain

    Susan Gowan I saw this on there too!

    Christopher Costanzo

    Songs pretty aids if you ask me

    Sidney Frederickson

    The entire show is available on the PBS "Great Perfomances" web page.


    good aids or bad aids though Chris....?

  24. Andrew Sillett

    So did I - a complete revelation, in music as well as in text! Brilliant - yes!

  25. John Betteley

    what a wonderful rendition and part of a great celebration of The Bard

  26. Mary Edwards


    John Hill

    Stunning. I must learn it

  27. colin sherwood

    stunning performance for the 400th anniversary

  28. Michelle Plimmer


  29. Patricia Gerrie

    Just heard him on BBC2's homage to Shakespeare 23 April 2016! Brilliant, quite simply!

  30. 1decroy

    utterly beautiful....I am overwhelmed and cannot express my pleasure...

  31. ForrestSpirit

    I am speechless !

  32. Come Flag with Me

    Thanks, Ged for writing a quick translation. William was amazing. I would love to write as lovely as he did. :)

  33. TheCatThatWasMan

    For Stephanie my true love, I would not trade my state with kings. Your love elevates me to the height of heaven's gates.

  34. Art Bristow

    Love the 'reveal' of the lyric.

  35. billieredsocks

    This is nice! Thank you for sharing.

  36. Steven Staples

    Truly one of the most brilliant pieces he's ever done, and he's done some incredible work. This destroys me each time I hear it.

  37. TheCatThatWasMan

    I live to experience art like this, that opens a window into a world of truth. Love, it is elusive it seems but oh how precious.

  38. TheCatThatWasMan

    This is a gloriously accomplished collaboration of two brilliant artists, literary and musical. This is why We toil day to day and suffer the indignities of being human in a world so commonly in want of this transcendant beauty.

    Jessica Palmer

    TheCatThatWasMan Wow, so that's what it's all about. At last it makes a little sense (enough? There is no choice) x

  39. James k Chapman

    Truely lovely

  40. john smith

    Nothing spastic about my elbow. I'm sure this version would get three thumbs up on American Idol. This doesn't have anything to do with snobbery or ego. It's just that even as a song(?), it's poorly done. I'm going to keep looking and listening for a good version. Why must everything be turned into twinkies? If this comment angers some of you, don't take offense. There are others out there who know what this should sound like. Listen to a good version.
    Good things aren't gained easily

    Richard Howell

    You are sooooo out of touch with the human heart!

  41. iamaspleen

    Can I ask what program you used to make the visual? I want to do something very similar and aren't sure where to start.

  42. MiaSqueaky

    Someone spastic person must have hit the Dislike button by accident with an elbow! This is divine...

    Jessica Palmer

    MiaSqueaky sublime

  43. Lara

    This is a beautiful sonnet with a beautiful message :) I love how Rufus Wainwright composed it, it's simply gorgeous. And I also love the words in time with the music in this video and the emphasis on love at the end. Just perfect!

  44. Jeremy Doyle

    Heard this in class a few months back. Love coming back every once and a while and listening to it!

  45. CandleCinema

    this is the original " all you need is love"

  46. Steven Opauski

    great video!!!

  47. protbox

    Thank you for the "translation" to contemporary English for us, non-native speakers. Now I understand more though the Shakespeare old English version after about 10th reading and deep thinking was quite ok for me too. Anyway, how wonderful William's verses and how heartfelt Rufus' voice! Two pure geniuses!

  48. Ged Martin

    When in disgrace and luck has deserted me. I sit alone I’m an outcast, and bother God with cries, that fall on deaf ears, i curse my fate,wishing I had this man’s good looks and that man’s friends,dissatisfied with the things I usually enjoy . as I’m thinking these thoughts hating myself, I think about you, and like a lark at daybreak rising up and leaving the earth to sing hymns to God. when I remember your sweet love, I feel so wealthy that I refuse to change places with kings.

  49. beadtific

    I love how you did the graphics for this. Well done!

  50. Sidagoki

    this is timeless , Shakespeare was a man so much ahead of his time :) genius, just pure genius.