Sonnet CXI

We present this work in honor of the 480th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Juan Boscan Almogaver
Spanish
1490 – 1542

 

I am like one who in a desert bides
Forgotten by the world and its concerns,
By chance encounter suddenly who learns
A dear friend lives, whom he supposed had died.

He fears at first this doubtful apparition,
But finding it then reliable and assured,
Commences to recall his past condition
By newly awakened sentiments allured

But when it’s time for friend and friend to part
Since to be parted soon he must consent
He finds old solitude stamped with new indent.

To mountain grass he must then reconcile,
And barren wastes which lack a trace of art,
Trembling each time he enters his cave the while.

Translation by Dia Tsung

Farewell to Folly

We present this work in honor of the 430th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Robert Greene
English
1558 – 1592

 

Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content;
The quiet mind is richer than a crown;
Sweet are the nights in careless slumber spent;
The poor estate scorns fortune’s angry frown:
Such sweet content, such minds, such sleep, such bliss,
Beggars enjoy, when princes oft do miss.

The homely house that harbours quiet rest;
The cottage that affords no pride nor care;
The mean that ‘grees with country music best;
The sweet consort of mirth and music’s fare;
Obscured life sets down a type of bliss:
A mind content both crown and kingdom is.

I Live, I Die, I Burn, I Drown

Louise Labé
French
c. 1524 – 1566

 

I live, I die, I burn, I drown
I endure at once chill and cold
Life is at once too soft and too hard
I have sore troubles mingled with joys

Suddenly I laugh and at the same time cry
And in pleasure many a grief endure
My happiness wanes and yet it lasts unchanged
All at once I dry up and grow green

Thus I suffer love’s inconstancies
And when I think the pain is most intense
Without thinking, it is gone again.

Then when I feel my joys certain
And my hour of greatest delight arrived
I find my pain beginning all over once again.

 

Translation by Delmira Agustini

Gather Violets O Narcissus

We present this work in honor of Muharram.

Habba Khatoon
Indian
1554 – 1609

 

Rain has come, and fields and fruit trees sing,
Spring has come, and Love, the Lord of Spring,
Dandelions have lifted up their faces,
Cold has gone and every wintry thing!
Forget-me-not the forest graces,
Iris and the lily spring will bring.
Gather violets, O Narcissus,
Winter’s ashes from our door I fling!
The water bird the lake embraces,
How can frost upon your petals cling?

Translation by Nilla Cram Cook

Royal song of the most beautiful that ever was in the world

07-05 d'Amboise
Catherine d’Amboise
French
1475 – 1550

Angels, Thrones and Dominations,
Principalities, Archangels, Cherubim,
Bow to the lower regions
With Virtues, Potestés, Seraphim,
Fly through high crystalline skies
To decorate the triumphant entrance
And the most worthy adored birth,
The holy concept by mysteres tres haults
Of that Virgin, where all grace abounds,
Decree by dits imperiaulx
The most beautiful that ever was in the world.

Give sermons and sermons,
Devout Carmelites, Cordeliers, Augustins;
From the holy concept wear relationships,
Caldeyens, Hebrieux and Latins;
Romanians, sing on the Palatine Hills
That Jouachim Saincte Anne met,
And that by eulx is administered to us
Ceste Virgo without love conjugaulx
That God created of fruitful pleasure,
Without feeling any original defects,
The most beautiful that ever was in the world.

His honest beautiful receptions
Of soul and body in the beautiful places of the intestines
Have transcended all conceptions
Personal, by divine mysteries.
Because to feed Jesus with his painful breasts
God always has him without a maculle monster,
Declaring it by right and ultree law:
All beautiful for the all beautiful of the beautiful,
All clergy, nect, modest and world,
All pure above all bladders,
The most beautiful that ever was in the world.

Muses, come in jubilations
And transmigrate your crystal-clear streams,
Come, Aurora, by lucidations,
Precursing the beautiful morning days;
Come, Orpheus, sound harp and clarins,
Come, Amphion, from the beautiful country,
Come, Music, pleasantly acoustrée,
Come on, Royne Hester, adorned with joyaulx,
Come, Judith, Rachel and Florimonde,
Accompanied by special honors
The most beautiful that ever was in the world.

Tres doulx zephirs, by sibilations
Sow roses and roumarins everywhere,
Nimphes, stop your floods,
Marine stigieulx and carybd places;
Ring horns, viols, stools;
May my mistress, the honored Virgin
Either from everyone in all places decorated
Come, Apolo, play the blowpipes,
Ring, Panna, so hault that everything redundant,
Collapse all in generaulx terms
The most beautiful that ever was in the world.

Devoted spirits, faithful and loyal,
In paradise, beautiful mansions and chasteins,
To the pleasure God, the Virgin for us founds
Or see her in her Royaulx palaces,
The most beautiful that ever was in the world.

Sonnet IV

z 05-24-22
Isabella Andreini
Italian
1562 – 1604

How often do we see a little stream
That trickles from Alpine springs so meagerly
Its scanty drops can scarcely slake at all
A weary pilgrim’s parched and burning thirst,

Enriched with rain, grow suddenly so proud
That nothing can restrain it in its course,
For, grown imperious, it carries all
In ample tribute to the mighty sea;

Likewise, at first, this tyrant love had but
A weak ability to do me harm
And begged in vain for victory o’er my thoughts.

But now, he overmasters so my heart
That speedily his furor drives to death
My Feelings, and my Reason, and my Soul.

The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd

02-15 Raleigh
Sir Walter Raleigh
English
1554 – 1618

If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every Shepherd’s tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move,
To live with thee, and be thy love.

Time drives the flocks from field to fold,
When Rivers rage and Rocks grow cold,
And Philomel becometh dumb,
The rest complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields,
To wayward winter reckoning yields,
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy’s spring, but sorrow’s fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of Roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten:
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and Ivy buds,
The Coral clasps and amber studs,
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy love.

But could youth last, and love still breed,
Had joys no date, nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move

To live with thee, and be thy love.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

We present this work in honor of Valentine’s Day.

02-14 Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
English
1564 – 1593

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the Rocks,
Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow Rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing Madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of Roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty Lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and Ivy buds,
With Coral clasps and Amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The Shepherds’ Swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.