Astrophil and Stella, Sonnet 5
It is most true—that eyes are formed to serve
The inward light; and that the heavenly part
Ought to be king; from whose rules, who doth swerve,
Rebels to Nature, strive for their own smart.
It is most true, what we call Cupid’s dart,
An image is, which for ourselves we carve,
And, fools, adore in temple of our heart;
Till that good god make church and churchmen starve.
True, thattrue beauty Virtue is indeed,
Whereof this beauty can be but a shade,
Which elements with mortal mixture breed;
True, that on earth we are but pilgrims made,
And should in soul up to our country move;
True—and yet true, that I must Stella love.
Sidney lists a series of truths.
1. we are born to serve reason alone and lovers have only themselves to blame for
following their heart instead of reason.
2. Love is an image and lovers are fools
3. virtue is beauty in its true form, rather than the superficial appearance that is
usually regarded as beauty.
4. people are only pilgrims on this earth who should concentrate on their souls.
Even though he recognizes the truth of all of these statements, he is unable to
separate his rational understanding from the love in his heart.
Despite his knowledge of all of these truths, he concludes that he still loves Stella.
His love for her is truth for him even though all of the other truths contradict it.
Translation:
E’ proprio vero che gli occhi sono fatti per servire
L’intima luce e che in noi dovrebbe regnar sovrana
La parte divina, e coloro che ribelli alla Natura
Deviano dalle sue leggi, si procurano solo supplizi!
È assai vero che ciò che noi chiamiamo dardo di Cupido
È solo un’immagine simbolica che scolpiamo per noi stessi
E che adoriamo come folli nel tempio del nostro cuore,
Finché quel falso dio non lascia a spasso Chiesa e sacerdoti.
È proprio vero che la Virtù è l’unica vera beltà
E che questa beltà terrena, che gli elementi plasmano
Con mortal mistura, non è che l’ombra di quella;
Ed è pure vero che sulla terra siam fatti per essere pellegrini
E che con l’anima dovremmo ascendere al nostro regno:
Tutto questo è vero, ma è pur vero che io devo amare Stella.
Periphrasis:
It is true that our eyes are created to serve
The inner light of the soul, and that the heavenly part
Of us ought to be king, and those who deviate from its rules
Are rebels against Nature, and their efforts harm themselves.
It is true that what we call Cupid’s arrow
Is a symbolic image that we carve out for ourselves,
And foolishly give adoration to in our hearts as if in a temple,
Until that false god puts Church and churchmen out of work.
It is true that Virtue is indeed true beauty,
Of which earthly beauty can only be a shadow
Made from a mortal mixture of the elements:
It is true that we are only created to be pilgrims on earth,
And should, within our souls, travel upwards to our true country:
All this is true, and yet it is also true that I must love Stella.
Scarica

Astrophil and Stella, Sonnet 5