Garcilaso de la Vega was a Spanish poet and soldier. Living a short life (35 years), his poetry reflects tragic love and influence from Italian Renaissance poets. He was particularly gifted in transmitting life into his poetry and influenced the course of Spanish poetry after his life.
Soneto uses de la Vega's thirty-second sonnet (forty in all) addressing the journey to removing memory of a painful love ("...what most hurts me is I dare not say that, of this state I'm in, you are the cause"). Though they consider returning to comfort and a sense normalcy with this person, they see others who have mistakenly done so, crystallyzing the choice to move forward.
Estoy contino en lágrimas bañado,
rompiendo siempre el aire con sospiros,
y más me duele nunca osar deciros
que he llegado por vos a tal estado;
que viéndome do estoy y en lo que he andado
por el camino estrecho de seguiros,
si me quiero tornar para huïros,
desmayo, viendo atrás lo que he dejado;
si a subir pruebo en la dificil cumbre,
a cada paso espántanme en la vía
ejemplos tristes de los que han caído;
sobre todo, faltame la lumbre
de la esperanza, con que andar solía
por la escura región de vuestro olvido
I am continually half drowned in tears,
my sighs mounting to heaven every day,
and what most hurts me is I dare not say
that, of this state I'm in, you are the cause;
and when I see what distane I have done
along the narrow road I treat to serve your,
and think how I might turn around and leave you,
I tremble seeing all that must be foregone;
but climbing on toward the distant summit,
at every step I take I am dismayed
by the grim example of all those who've fallen.
And most of all what I lack now's the light
of hope, that used to guide me as I strayed
through the dark and lonely land of your disdain.
Voicing: SATB divisi, piano