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Poems

Posted by: Sara Paccione | February 25, 2011 | No Comment |

These are two different poems about love:

“Merciless Beauty” by Geoffrey Chaucer (late 14th century):

Your ÿen two wol slee me sodenly;
I may the beautee of hem not sustene,
So woundeth hit thourghout my herte kene.
And but your word wol Helen hastily
My hertes wounde, while that hit is grene,
Your ÿen two wol slee me sodenly;
I may the beautee of hem not sustene.

Upon my trouthe I sey you faithfully
That ye ben of my lyf and deeth the queen;
For with my deeth the trouthe shal be sene.
Your ÿen two wol slee me sodenly;
I may the beautee of hem not sustene,
So woundeth hit thourghout my herte kene.

(Translation):

Your two eyes will slay me suddenly
I may the beauty of them not sustain,
So wounded, hit throughout my heart keen.

And but your word will heal hastily
My heart’s wound, while that hit is green,
Your two eyes will slay me suddenly
I may the beauty of them not sustain,

Upon my truth I say you faithfully,
That you’ve been of my life’s death the queen;
For with my death the truth shall be seen.
Your two eyes will slay me suddenly
I may the beauty of them not sustain,
So wounded, hit throughout my heart keen.

“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” by William Shakespeare (1609):

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hatch a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go:
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she, belied with false compare.

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