William Shakespeare - Sonnet 101


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Sonnet 101

O truant Muse what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer Muse: wilt thou not haply say,
'Truth needs no colour, with his colour fixed;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
But best is best, if never intermixed'?
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?
Excuse not silence so, for't lies in thee
To make him much outlive a gilded tomb
And to be praised of ages yet to be.
Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how
To make him seem, long hence, as he shows now.

Μούσα αλήτισσα, ποιες θα βρεις δικιολογίες
που αμέλησες αλήθεια με ομορφιά βαμμένη;
Η αλήθεια κι η ομορφιά ναι του έρωτά μου αξίες
καθώς και συ, μ’ αυτόν και εσύ καταξιωμένη.
Μούσα, απάντησε: ή μη μας πεις «δεν έχει η αλήθεια
χρεία να βάλει άλλο χρώμα απ’ το δικό της,
ούτ’ η ομορφιά απ’ της ομορφιάς της την αλήθεια,
γιατί ’ναι τέλεια η ανόθευτη τελειότης».
Επειδή δε χρειάζεται ύμνο, εσύ κρατάς σιωπή;
Μη δικαιολογίες, τον κάνεις συ, αν θες,
πιο πολύ από μνήμα επίχρυσο να ζει,
να τον δοξολογούν οι ερχόμενες γενεές.
Λοιπόν το χρέος σου, Μούσα, κάνε όπως σου λέω
να τον δείχνεις σαν τώρα, πάντα ωραίον και νέον.

Μετάφραση: Βασίλης Ρώτας

The poet continues with his cheeky castigation of the Muse. Perhaps by throwing all the blame on her he can show that he is guiltless, and in fact that he is better than her, for best is best if never intermixed, therefore he should not need to mix his own inspiration with that provided by the Muse. Indeed, by the end of the poem he is offering to teach her how it should be done, and the youth no doubt is expected to be an amused bystander of all this. To the reader there is perhaps an awareness of contradiction or, at the very least, forgetfulness, for not so long ago the youth was being accused of betrayal, or having (or not having) virtue which did not match the outward show, or being a festering lily. But all that is now forgotten and the poet is happy to present him once more as the epitome of truth and beauty.

« Last Edit: 03 Jul, 2020, 18:28:17 by spiros »


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