Mellin de Saint-Gelais (1491-1558)

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The Sonnet of the Mountain

When from afar these mountain tops I view,
I do but mete mine own distress thereby:
High is their head, and my desire is high;
Firm is their foot, my faith is certain, too.

E'en as the winds about their summits blue,
From me, too, breaks betimes the wistful sigh;
And as from them the brooks and streamlets hie,
So from mine eyes the tears run down anew.

A thousand flocks upon them feed and stray;
As many loves within me see the day,
And all my heart fore pasture ground divide.

No fruit have they, my lot as fruitless is;
And 'twixt us now nought diverse is but this--
In them the snows, in me the fires abide.

Translated by Austin Dobson.