Sonnet 106 (William Shakespeare) | Σονέτο 106 (Ουίλλιαμ Σαίξπηρ) [When in the chronicle of wasted time: Όταν θωρώ στο χρονικό καιρού χαμένου]


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Sonnet 106 (William Shakespeare) | Σονέτο 106 (Ουίλλιαμ Σαίξπηρ) [When in the chronicle of wasted time: Όταν θωρώ στο χρονικό καιρού χαμένου]

When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme,
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights,
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have expressed
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And for they looked but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

Όταν θωρώ στο χρονικό καιρού χαμένου
περιγραφές για σπάνιες ομορφιές,
για κάλλη που παλιά τραγούδια ομορφαίνουν,
για κυράδες παλιές και ιππότες λεβεντιές,
ε, τότε στου Ωραίου το οικόσημο με ωραία
μάλιστα χέρια, πόδια, χείλια, μάτια, φρύδια,
βλέπω πως θα μπορούσε η πένα τους η αρχαία
να εκφράσει και την ομορφιά σου αυτή την ίδια.
Κι έτσι όλα τους τα εγκώμια είναι προφητείες
για τον καιρό μας, προσκεδιάσματα για σένα,
μα αφού δε σ’ είδαν παρά μόνο με εικασίες,
με λειψή περιγράψαν την άξιά σου πένα.
Τι έχουμε εμείς των ημερών μας οι θεατές
θαυμασμού μάτια, αλλ’ όχι του ύμνου τις χορδές.

Μετάφραση: Βασίλης Ρώτας

Other sonnets, such as 55, have looked forward to a time when the youth will live on through the verse of the poet: Sonnet 17 even considers that the record of the youth's outstanding beauty will not be believed by future generations:
Who will believe my verse in time to come,
If it were fill'd with your most high deserts?
This sonnet however looks back to a time when knights and ladies led lives of romance and mystery, a time which chroniclers have recorded.for posterity in descriptions which appear to foreshadow in some sense the youth's excelling beauty. The writers of past ages were aware, through some sort of divination, of a beauty that surpassed all others. Yet they did not know the youth, who was not yet born. Their songs therefore were mere prefigurings of his worth and glory, which now is appreciated, even though the present day poets lack the skill to sing of him adequately.


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