Sonnet on Love XIII

by Jean de Sponde

"Give me a place to stand," Archimedes said,
"and I can move the world." Paradoxical, clever,
his remark which first explained the use of the lever
was an academic joke. But if that dead

sage could return to life, he would find a clear
demonstration of his idea, which is not
pure theory after all. That putative spot
exists in the love I feel for you, my dear.

What could be more immovable or stronger?
What becomes more and more secure, the longer
it is battered by inconstancy and the stress

we find in our lives? Here is that fine fixed point
from which to move a world that is out of joint,
as he could have done, had he known a love like this.

Translated by David R. Slavitt