23 June 2005

A School of Guile, A Net Of Deep Deceit

      Interesting news this: Cate Blanchett will reprise her role as Elizabeth I, with Clive Owen to star as Sir Walter Raleigh.   The first film was quite good, and Blanchett, poor thing, has seemed stuck in a rutt of dull character parts since. It seems the second film will also feature Jeremy Irons as the Earl of Leicester, which-- though not as inspired a casting choice as Geoffrey Rush as Walsingham-- sounds promising. With this announcement, though, I figured I'd post one of Raleigh's more famous poems, "A Farewell to False Love." Here it is:

A Farewell to False Love

Farewell false love, the oracle of lies,
A mortal foe and enemy to rest,
An envious boy, from whom all cares arise,
A bastard vile, a beast with rage possessed,
A way of error, a temple full of treason,
In all effects contrary unto reason.

A poisoned serpent covered all with flowers,
Mother of sighs, and murderer of repose,
A sea of sorrows whence are drawn such showers
As moisture lend to every grief that grows;
A school of guile, a net of deep deceit,
A gilded hook that holds a poisoned bait.

A fortress foiled, which reason did defend,
A siren song, a fever of the mind,
A maze wherein affection finds no end,
A raging cloud that runs before the wind,
A substance like the shadow of the sun,
A goal of grief for which the wisest run.

A quenchless fire, a nurse of trembling fear,
A path that leads to peril and mishap,
A true retreat of sorrow and despair,
An idle boy that sleeps in pleasure's lap,
A deep mistrust of that which certain seems,
A hope of that which reason doubtful deems.

Sith* then thy trains my younger years betrayed,          [since]
And for my faith ingratitude I find;
And sith repentance hath my wrongs bewrayed*,           [revealed]
Whose course was ever contrary to kind*:          [nature]
False love, desire, and beauty frail, adieu.
Dead is the root whence all these fancies grew.

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