When Phoebus, at declining of the day


From the French Translation of Petrarqu'188th Sonnett

Primary Texts:

MS's: F-H 283, 53-54; Folger 119-20.
When Phoebus, at declining of the day
His golden Chariot plunges inthe Sea,
Leauing my Soul, and this forsaken air
With darknesse cover'd, and with black dispair,
I by the rising streaks of Cynthia's light,
My griefs bewail, and dread th'approaching night.
I to the Heav'sn, and to the Stars relate,
That hear me not, the Stories of my fate.
What wonder, if by them unheard I be,
Since all things, are insencible to me?
Fortune to me, alas! is doubly blind,
My Mistresse cruel, and the world unkind;
With these, with love, and with myself I chide,
Nor will one pleasing thought, with me abide;
Sleep, from my weary, restlesse temples flyes,
And falling tears, prevent my closing eyes.
My soul, till morning, thus her anguish shews,
When soft Aurora cheerfull light renews.
But still, behind the Cloud, my Sun remains,
'Tis she must give me light, and ease my pains.

Secondary Eds:

1903 Reynolds prints Folger text, 119 (in translation section).


1696 Le Petrarque en Rime Francoise avec Ses Commentaries [by Velluto], Philippe de Maldeghem, with Velluto, Sonnet CLXXXVIII, 280: Quand Phoebus en la mer baignant a sa retraite.

Finch's paraphrase-imitation of Petrarch by way of Philip Maldeghem's paraphrase- translation has not been reprinted since Reynolds's edition and the (unacknowledged) reprint of all the non-dramatic poetry that is to be found in Hugh I. A'Fausset's 1930 Everyman Minor Poets of the Eighteenth-Century.

Finch saw in Petrarch's sonnet a mirror or way to express her own nightly depressions and grief. For an analysis, click here.

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Page Last Updated 7 January 2003