Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Sonnets and Poetical Translations
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Sonnets and Poetical Translations
XXX. What changes here, O hair!
Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
 
          Translated out of Diana of MONTEMAYOR in Spanish, where SIRENO, a shepherd, pulling out a little of his mistress DIANA’s hair, wrapt about with green silk; who had now utterly forsaken him: to the hair, he thus bewailed himself.

WHAT changes here, O hair!
I see? since I saw you.
How ill fits you, this green to wear,
For hope the colour due.
Indeed I well did hope,        5
Though hope were mixed with fear,
No other shepherd should have scope
Once to approach this hair.
 
  Ah, hair! how many days
My DIANA made me show,        10
With thousand pretty childish plays,
If I wore you or no?
Alas, how oft with tears,
O tears of guileful breast!
She seemèd full of jealous fears;        15
Whereat I did but jest.
 
  Tell me, O hair of gold!
If I then faulty be,
That trust those killing eyes, I would,
Since they did warrant me.        20
Have you not seen her mood?
What streams of tears she spent!
Till that I swear my faith so stood,
As her words had it bent.
 
  Who hath such beauty seen        25
In one that changeth so?
Or where one’s love so constant been,
Who ever saw such woe?
Ah hair! are you not grieved?
To come from whence you be:        30
Seeing how once you saw I lived;
To see me, as you see?
 
  On sandy bank, of late,
I saw this woman sit,
Where “Sooner die, than change my state,”        35
She, with her finger, writ.
Thus my belief was stayed.
“Behold love’s mighty hand
On things,” were by a woman said,
And written in the sand.        40
 
 
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