Sonnet XII

"What is the cause, my Damon, that as we
together in love's tussle are combined
with tongues and arms and feet, and all enchained
like grapevines that in jasmine get entwined,
nd, taking both of us the breath of life
in through our lips, worn out from sips sublime,
amidst such joy we find ourselves compelled
to groan and sigh out loud from time to time?"
"Love, my Phyllis fair, who deep inside
our souls did bind, within his forge aspires
our bodies to conjoin with force as great,
and since it can't --like water with a sponge--
pass into the beloved soul's sweet core,
the mortal veil bemoans its shabby fate."

Francisco de Aldana 1532 - 1578
(© Alix Ingber, 1995)


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2011 Selected Poetry
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