Love Sonnet III

We present this work in honor of the 425th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Madeleine de l’Aubespine
1546 – 1596


Let the earth cease its turning, suddenly,
And the fixed stars travel the firmament;
Let somber Saturn shine, benevolent;
Jupiter rule the hosts beneath the sea;

Let Mars turn peaceful; Sun’s lush clarity
Turn dim, then dark; grow motionless, outspent;
Venus unloving; Mercury, content,
Changeless; Moon square, no more a circle be;

Let fire weigh heavy and the earth weigh light;
Water feel dry and warm; and let the flight
Of fish go coursing, grazing through the sky,

Sooner than might another know my love.
Born was I but to grant you all thereof;
For you alone I live, and for you, die.


Translation by Norman R. Shapiro

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