Saturday Sonnet

One of the things that desire brings is wreckage. Those of us with grey hair, scars, and have both won in lost in love say over and over, "Do not pass this point: beyond lies peril; you are ruining your life by the numbers"

Sydney knew this. He knew that if he loved overmuch he would ruin himself: he had been rejected, if not by Stella then by her family, and then the family mattered more than it does now. (The family should matter: if you marry you marry into it).

And there is a risk for Stella. She would be known as a succubi, one who ruins man by the misapplication of beauty.

puddle on road beside concrete buildings
Photo by AC Almelor / Unsplash

As good to write, as for to lie and grone.
O Stella deare, how much thy powre hath wrought,
That hast my mind (now of the basest) brought
My still-kept course, while others sleepe, to mone!
Alas, if from the height of Vertues throne
Thou canst vouchsafe the influence of a thought
Vpon a wretch that long thy grace hath sought,
Weigh then how I by thee am ouerthrowne,
And then thinke thus: although thy beautie be
Made manifest by such a victorie,
Yet noble conquerours do wreckes auoid.
Since then thou hast so farre subdued me
That in my heart I offer still to thee,
O do not let thy temple be destroyd!
-- Sir Philip Sydney

Stella knew this, and did not know this. She eventually rejected her husband, lived with her lover (Blount), had four children to him, and (after her husband granted a divorce) married Blount in defiance to canon law, and was cast out of polite society. This was considered scandalous.

Now it is celebrated. Though the poet who wrote this (Plath) died, and was not risen from her bed of suicide.

From Lady Lazarus.
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.
Ash, ash—
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

--Sylvia Plath

But Sydney would rise from his soldier's grave (we have always buried them where they fall) and say this: his Stella may be feckless, but she lied not.

Unlike the poets of this age.

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