Avising the Bright Beams

Avising the Bright Beams

Original Text
British Library Egerton MS. 2711, fol. 22; cf. Richard Harrier, Canon (1975): 125-26.
3The wearied mind straight from the heart departeth
4For to rest in his worldly paradise
5And find the sweet bitter under this guise.
6What webs he hath wrought well he perceiveth
8That spurreth with fire and bridleth with ice.
9Thus is it in such extremity brought,
11Twixt misery and wealth, twixt earnest and game,
12But few glad, and many diverse thought
14Of such a root cometh fruit fruitless.


1] The source of the poem is Petrarch's 173th (140th) sonnet (Mestica, 251):
Mirando 'l sol de' begli occhi sereno,
Ove è chi spesso i miei depinge e bagna,
Dal cor l' anima stanca si scompagna
Per gir nel paradiso suo terreno.
Poi, trovandol di dolce e d' amar' pieno,
Quant' al mondo si tesse opra d' aragna
Vede; onde seco e con Amor si lagna,
Ch' à sí caldi gli spron, sí duro 'l freno.
Per questi estremi duo, contrari e misti,
Or con voglie gelate, or con accese
Stassi cosí fra misera e felice.
Ma pochi lieti, e molti penser tristi;
E 'l piú si pente de l' ardite imprese:
Tal frutto nasce di cotal radice.

Avising: viewing. Back to Line

2] he: presumably love, as below at lines 6-7. Back to Line
7] plaineth: complains. Back to Line
10] laugh: Egerton reads "though". Back to Line
13] hardiness: boldness. Back to Line
Publication Start Year
RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition
RPO 1997.