Today for Sonnetsday, I've taken Wyatt's version of a Petrarch sonnet, then show what Spenser does with the same theme, and finally my own continuance of the tradition. And thus, from Italy to America, we have a sonnet conceit that has lasted some 700 years.
Sir Thomas Wyatt
THE LOVER COMPARETH HIS STATE TO A
SHIP IN PERILOUS STORM TOSSED
ON THE SEA.1
Y galley chargèd with forgetfulness
Thorough2 sharp seas, in winter nights doth pass
'Tween rock and rock; and eke3 mine enemy, alas,
That is my lord, steereth with cruelness,
And every oar a thought in readiness,
As though that death were light in such a case.4
An endless wind doth tear the sail apace
Of forcèd sighs and trusty fearfulness.5
A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain,
Hath done the wearied cords great hinderance;
Wreathèd with error and eke with ignorance.
The stars be hid that led me to this pain.
Drownèd is reason that should me consort,6
And I remain despairing of the port.
1 Translated from Petrarch's Rime 189.
4 As though my destruction would not matter much.
5 Fear to trust.
IKE as a ship, that through the ocean wide,
by conduct of some star doth make her way,
whenas a storm hath dimm'd her trusty guide,
out of her course doth wander far astray.
So I whose star, that wont with her bright ray
me to direct, with clouds is overcast,
do wander now in darkness and dismay,
through hidden perils round about me plac't.
Yet hope I well, that when this storm is past,
My Helice, the lodestar of my life,
will shine again, and look on me at last
with lovely light to clear my cloudy grief.
Till then I wander careful comfortless,
in secret sorrow and sad pensiveness.
1 Careful, full of cares/worry.
IKE to a ship caught in the darkest night
In grip of storms most venomous and dire,
So doth my darkling heart quest for the light
And seek salvation from my grief's deep mire.
Yet all my efforts lead but to confusion,
Dragging my barque to ever fiercer seas,
And every sight of harbour's but illusion,
Cruel and deaf the winds to all my pleas.
But, suddenly my weak'ned sight doth spy
A beacon bright amidst the wat'ry waste—
This light, it issues from my lover's eye,
Towards it aim I with all speed and haste.
'Tis true, without you I am lost and craven;
Within you find my ship and soul a haven.
Tags: Sonnets | Anniina's Poetry