Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sonnet 2 - Sir Philip Sidney

I really like this one.  It's one of Sidney's favorite poetical tricks to describe this sort of "logical" progression from step to step; there's less of passion than of order to his love here, as he talks about how he gradually lost his heart -- and his sense -- through his lady's charms.  Eventually, even his art becomes her servant, as he uses it for self-deception in her favor. 

Sonnet 2

Not at the first sight, nor with a dribbed shot,
Love gave the wound, which, while I breathe, will bleed;
But known worth did in mine of time proceed,
Till by degrees it had full conquest got.
I saw and liked; I liked but loved not;
I loved, but straight did not what love decreed;
At length to love's decrees I, forced, agreed,
Yet with repining at so partial lot.
Now even that footstep of lost liberty
Is gone, and now, like slave-born Muscovite,
I call it praise to suffer tyranny;
And now employ the remnant of my wit
To make myself believe that all is well,
While, with a feeling skill, I paint my hell.

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