viernes, 27 de febrero de 2015

Sonnet CXXI (121)

'Tis better to be vile, than vile esteemed,
When not to be, receives reproach of being,
And the just pleasure lost which is so deemed 
Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing: 
For why should others' false adulterate eyes 
Give salutation to my sportive blood? 
Or on my frailties why are frailer spies, 
Which in their wills count bad what I think good?
No; -- I am that I am, and they that level 
At my abuses reckon up their own: 
I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel;
By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown;
   Unless this general evil they maintain,
   All men are bad, and in their badness reign.

2. When he who is not vile incurs the reproach of being so. 

3, 4. And the just pleasure, -- that is, of self-respect or of an approving conscience. Which is so deemed looks back to what had been said in lines 1 and 2: "When the character which is not vile is so deemed, looked at by the eyes of others; though all the time our own conscience tells us that we are misjudged, and that we are not really vile." 

5. Adulterate. Equivalent to "adulterous." Or in a more general sense, as "And bastards of his foul adulterate heart" (Lover's Complaint, line 175). 

6. Take account of and criticise what my somewhat warm nature may do in gay or less restrained moments. 

8. In their wills. These words maybe equivalent not merely to "in their minds," but with the added notion "in accordance with their wishes" -- "they would like to make me out bad." 

9. No;-- I am that I am. With all my frailties, but yet not without something of good. Level. So as to take aim. Cf. CXVII.11 

11. They should not think that because they diverge from the straight line (of rectitude) I must necessarily do the same. 

13. Their rank thoughts. This, as well as preceding expressions, shows that the charge brought against the poet involved sensuality in some form or other.

Soneto de amor CXXI (121)


Mejor ser vil que ser vilipendiado 
Si te acusan de ser lo que no eres 
Y se pierde el placer, según decide 
Lo que ven los demás, no lo que sientes. 
¿Por qué miradas falsas y vulgares 
En lo sensual conmigo se comparan 
O espías culposos de mis culpas 
Lo que tengo por bueno juzgan malo? 
Yo soy quien soy, y aquellos que se midan 
Con mis faltas, las propias enumeran; 
Tal vez soy recto aunque ellos sean torcidos; 
Su ruin pensar no es vara de mis actos 
A menos que los guíe este principio: 
Medran en el mal todos los hombres. 

Sonnet CXX (120)

That you were once unkind, befriends me now, 
And for that sorrow, which I then did feel
Needs must I under my transgression bow,
Unless my nerves were brass or hammered steel.
For if you were by my unkindness shaken,
As I by yours, y' have pass'd a hell of time, 
And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken
To weigh how once I suffer'd in your crime.
O, that our night of woe might have remember'd
My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits,
And soon to you, as you to me, then tendered
The humble salve which wounded bosoms fits!
   But that your trespass now becomes a fee;
   Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me. 

3. Thinking that I have now inflicted on you similar pain. 

4. Unless my nerves, &c. Unless I were destitute of feeling. 

6. Y' have pass'd a hell of time. Cf. "Though waiting so be hell" (LVIII. 13); and Lucrece, 1287 and 1288:

"And that deep torture may be call'd a Hell,
When more is felt than one hath power to tell."

7, 8. And I a tyrant, &c. I, like a tyrant, have been regardless of the pain I inflicted, not even sparing time to think of the suffering I once endured. 

9, 10. Our night of woe. On that former occasion. The expression "night of woe" may be metaphorical, though it is, of course, possible that reference may be made to some particular night. Might have remembered my deepest sense. Might have caused my deepest sense to remember. 
11. And that I had soon tendered to you, as you tendered to me on that former occasion. 

12. The humble salve. The humble apology. Fits. Suits. 

13. That former trespass of yours against me has become something which I can offer as a payment and ransom for my own offence. 

Soneto de amor CXX (120)

Tu vieja crueldad ahora me aplaca, 
Y por ese dolor que sufrí entonces 
De mi delito debo arrepentirme, 
Pues no soy de bronce o duro acero, 
Y si mi acto cruel te ha lastimado 
Como el tuyo a mí, te di un infierno 
Y, déspota, no me he detenido 
A recordar mis propios padeceres. 
La noche de pesar debió evocarme 
Cuánto muerde el dolor cuando es severo, 
Y pronto, igual que tú, te habría llevado 
El bálsamo que sana un pecho herido. 
Mas tu crimen ahora es mi fianza, 
Mutuamente debemos indultarnos. 

Sonnet CXIX (119)

What potions have I drunk of Siren tears,
Distill'd from lymbecks foul as hell within,
Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears, 
Still losing when I saw myself to win!
What wretched errors hath my heart committed,
Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never!
How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted
In the distraction of this madding fever!
O benefit of ill! now I find true
That better is by evil still made better;
And ruin'd love, when it is built anew,
Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater.
   So I return rebuk'd to my content, 
   And gain by ills thrice more than I have spent.

1. Drunk. The tears had influenced him so thoroughly, that they had been, as it were, imbibed. 

2. Lymbecks. Alembics or stills. Foul as hell within. Cf. what is said of the poet's dark mistress in the second series of Sonnets, "In nothing art thou black, save in thy deeds" (CXXXI.13); "Who art as black as hell, as dark as night" (CXLVII.14)

3. Now letting fear give way to hope, and now hope to fear. 

4. Still losing, &c. Probably on account of the unworthiness of the objects won. 

7. Fitted. "Worked and vexed by paroxysms." SCHMIDT. Comparison has been made of Pericles, Act ii. so. i, line 58, "If it be a day fits you," &c. But there appears to be in our passage the idea of strange surprises. 

8. This madding fever. Cf. "My love is as a fever," &c., and,
"Past cure I am, now reason is past cure,
And frantic mad with evermore unrest," &c. (CXLVII)
10. That better, &c. The better love is manifestly the love to his friend. 

13. To my content. With a feeling of contentment and satisfaction. 

Soneto de amor CXIX (119)

¿Bebí poción de llanto de sirenas 
Destilado de horribles alambiques 
Que confundo el temor y la esperanza 
Y pierdo cuando creo haber ganado? 
¿Qué error mi corazón ha cometido 
Si antes tanta dicha lo colmaba? 
¿Por qué desorbitados son mis ojos 
En arrebatos de maligna fiebre? 
Oh feliz desventura: ahora descubro 
Lo bueno por el mal perfeccionado, 
Y la casa de amor, reconstruida, 
Es más bella, más fuerte y espaciosa. 
Vuelvo castigado a mi contento, 
La dicha triplicada por mis males.  

Sonnet CXVIII (118)

Like as, to make our appetites more keen,
With eager compounds we our palate urge, 
As, to prevent our maladies unseen, 
We sicken to shun sickness, when we purge, 
Even so, being tuff of your ne'er-cloying sweetness,
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding, 
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness
To be diseas'd, ere that there was true needing. 
Thus policy in love, to anticipate 
The ills that were not, grew to faults assured,
And brought to medicine a healthful state,
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cured:
   But thence I learn, and find the lesson true,
   Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you. 

CXVIII. The poet had previously (cx.) spoken of "grinding his appetite" during the period of absence. He now changes the figure. He had been taking a tonic to sharpen his appetite, or a prophylactic medicine to prevent disease. But he had learned that the expedient he had resorted to was premature and unnecessary, and that the drugs he had employed -- that is, the companions and pursuits which had engaged his time and attention -- were, under the circumstances, poisonous. 

2. Eager. Sharp, acid. Cf. Ham., Act i. sc. 5, line 69, "And curd, like eager droppings into milk." 

4. Sicken to shun sickness. Make ourselves ill with drugs. So "To be diseas'd," line 8. 

5. Ne'er cloying. Repels the supposition that he had been really satiated with his friend's society. So, in the next line but one, "sick of welfare," and in line 8, "ere that there was trueneeding." 

9, 10. The policy spoken of resulted in unquestionable faults, disorders of moral health. 

11. And had recourse to medicine, though in a state of health. 

12. Rank of goodness may be taken as equivalent to "sick of welfare" in line 7. 

14. That so fell sick. Being "full of your ne'er-cloying sweetness."