William Shakespeare - Sonnet 103


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Sonnet 103

Alack! what poverty my Muse brings forth,
That having such a scope to show her pride,
The argument all bare is of more worth
Than when it hath my added praise beside!
O! blame me not, if I no more can write!
Look in your glass, and there appears a face
That over-goes my blunt invention quite,
Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.
Were it not sinful then, striving to mend,
To mar the subject that before was well?
For to no other pass my verses tend
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;
And more, much more, than in my verse can sit,
Your own glass shows you when you look in it.

Ωιμέ, τι φτώχεια η μούσα μου παρουσιάζει
που ενώ ’χει θέμα που εξυψώνει κάθε πένα,
ολόγυμνο το ίδιο πιο πολύ ζυγιάζει,
παρ’ όσο αν έχει πρόσβαρο έπαινο από μένα.
Ω, μη με ψέγεις αν δε γράφω πιο πολλά,
δες στον καθρέφτη σου, μιαν όψη εκεί θα ιδείς
που πάει απ’ την οκνή έμπνευσή μου πιο μπροστά,
τους στίχους μου χαλάει, με κάνει της ντροπής.
Αν κόπιαζα να διόρθωνα, δε θα ’ταν κρίμα
να στρεβλώνω το θέμα που ήταν πριν καλό;
Γιατί δε μου τραβάει για τίποτ’ άλλο η ρίμα
παρά τα κάλλη σου, τις χάρες σου να ειπώ.
Και πάνω απ’ όσα ο στίχος μου χωράει θα ιδούν
τα μάτια σου, όταν στον καθρέφτη κοιταχτούν.

Μετάφραση: Βασίλης Ρώτας

The poet again parades his modesty, portraying himself as an indifferent poet who cannot adequately sing the worth of his beloved. But of course the poem itself contradicts this stance, and the poet, despite his disclaimers, is probably well aware of the relative merits of his verse when set against the youth's own frivolity and the worth of a lasting and true relationship. Yet he shows his generosity by degrading his talents to a humble level and putting the youth on the customary high pedestal. The closing couplet is perhaps double edged in that the 'more, much more' which the mirror shows is the effect of the encroachment of lines and wrinkles. The following sonnet pretends to deny this perception, saying it is unworthy of notice. But alas, the face which Narcissus saw, when he gazed at his own image reflected in the water, was the face of time and death.

« Last Edit: 03 Jul, 2020, 18:28:27 by spiros »


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