In night, when colors all to black are cast

From Fulke Greville’s Caelica – Sonnet 100.  I have the John Williams English Renaissance Poetry anthology where he modernizes the spellings but I enjoyed the direction of Greville’s later poems enough that I’ve got a Thom Gunn edited selection on the way now, hopefully with the added flavor of original spellings.

A bit Bauhaus-y this one.

In night, when colors all to black are cast,

Distinction lost, or gone down with the light,

The eye, a watch to inward senses placed,

Not seeing, yet still having power of sight,

Gives vain alarums to the inward sense,

Where fear, stirred up with witty tyranny,

Confounds all powers, and through self-offense

Doth forge and raise impossibility,

Such as in thick depriving darknesses

Proper reflections of the error be,

And images of self-confusednesses,

Which hurt imaginations only see:–

And from this nothing seen, tell news of devils,

Which but expressions be of inward evils.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s