Saturday, 28 April 2018

Friendship - Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft

This earth, embossed with mountains, laced with streams,
  Starred with fair cities ringed about with towers,
Whose face with hill and laughing valley gleams,
  Whose shadowy woods are full of tender flowers,
The birds, the careless beasts beneath the moon,
  And that conceited race of feeble man,
All hold their place by harmony, and soon
  Sans friendship would sink out of nature’s plan.
From manly friendship cities take their root,
  Their nurture and their life; from strife their death;
  Thro’ civil jars they pant with heavy breath;
    So dangerous is division in the State!
In harmony the seeds of glory shoot,
    And peace at home makes little kingdoms great.

Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581–1647) The Netherlands
Translated by Edmund Gosse
Source: The Sonnets of Europe, ed. by Samuel Waddington. London: Walter Scott, 1888

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