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A SESTINA, IN IMITAION OF SIG. FRA. PETRARCA, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: So many creatures live not in the sea
Last Line: Now cynthia frowns, can ease or pleasure yield.
Subject(s): Petrarch (1304-1374); Francesco Petrarca


So many creatures live not in the sea,
Nor e'er above the circle of the Moon,
Did man behold so many stars at night,
Nor little birds do shelter in the woods,
Nor herbs, nor flow'rs e'er beautified the fields;
As anxious thoughts my heart feels ev'ry day.


I, wishing Death, pray each may be the day,
And seek in vain for quiet in the fields,
My griefs succeed like waves upon the sea;
Such torments sure, no man beneath the Moon
E'er felt as I; 'tis known amongst the woods,
Where to complain I oft retire at night.


I never could enjoy a quiet night,
And do in pain and sorrow spend the day,
Since angry Cynthia drove me to the woods;
Yet e'er I quit my Love I'll weep a sea:
The Sun his light shall borrow of the Moon,
And May with flowers refuse to deck the fields.


Restless I wander up and down the fields,
And scarce can close my eyes to sleep at night:
So that my life's unstable as the moon,
The air I fill with sighs both night and day;
My show'rs of tears seem to augment the sea,
Make the herbs green, and to refresh the woods.


I hating cities, ramble in the woods,
And thence I shift to solitary fields,
I rove and imitate the troubled sea,
And hope most quiet in the silent night.
So that I wish at the approach of day,
The Sun would set, and give his place to th' Moon.


Oh, that like him who long had lov'd the Moon,
I could in dreams be happy in the woods;
I'd wish an end to this most glorious day,
Then should I meet my Cynthia in the fields,
Court her, and entertain her all the night;
The day should stop, and Sol dwell in the sea.

But day nor night, sea, moon, nor wood, nor field
Now Cynthia frowns, can ease or pleasure yield.

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