Sydney knew the trap he had fallen into. Love was not considered sane by the Renaissance English: it was romanticized as a divine madness. You married for alliance to make families, and if lucky your wife became your lover. Unrequited love was fuel to the poet’s fire, a driver of plots for the novelist.
We lack these restrictions in our society, and we wonder why we cannot write well: for we have lost honour, and with it beauty and truth. The older poets, even in their most abased and mad state, show us a better way.
On Cupids bowe how are my heart-strings bent,
That see my wracke, and yet embrace the same!
When most I glory, then I feele most shame;
I willing run, yet while I run repent;
My best wits still their own disgrace inuent:
My very inke turns straight to Stellas name;
And yet my words, as them my pen doth frame,
Auise them selues that they are vainely spent:
For though she passe all things, yet what is all
That vnto me, who fare like him that both
Lookes to the skies and in a ditch doth fall?
O let me prop my mind, yet in his growth,
And not in nature for best fruits vnfit.
Scholler, saith Loue, bend hitherward your wit.
Sir Philip Sydney
Not just the English. Love is universal, and when it moves beyond infatuation into a life builded together you become one. When it breaks, it is as if you have lost your right arm and left leg. We are human. We are made to love: regardless of the situation into which we were wed.
I apologize to my one Japanese reader. WordPress is not good at multilingual fonts.
The rainbow stands
In a moment
As if you are here.
Infatuation is madness. It is love that sings, and it is love that makes us holy: when the lust burns away one must do what makes your beloved well.