Garcilaso de la Vega

Sonnet XIII

This stanza bears close ressemblance to Garcilaso's Sonnet XIII, and in both one sees a repeated characteristic of language, the emphatically placed imperfect at the end of lines, calling attention to the evolving metamorphosis of Daphne, the incomplete yet continuing process of her changing from woman into tree. The source is, of course, Ovid, Metamorphosis, I, 452-567.

    Sonnext XIII

  1. A Dafne ya los brazos le crecían
  2. y en luengos ramos vueltos se mostravan;
  3. en verdes hojas vi que se tornaban
  4. los cabellos qu'el oro escurecían.
  5. de áspera corteza se cubrían
  6. los tiernos miembros que aun bullendo 'staban;
  7. los blancos pies en tierra se hincaban
  8. y en torcidas raíces se volvían.
  9. AquelName=Aquel; HotwordStyle=BookDefault; que fue la causa de tal daño,
  10. a fuerza de llorar, crecer hacía
  11. este árbol, que con lágrimas regaba.
  12. íOh miserable estado, oh mal tamaño,
  13. que con llorar crezca cada día
  14. la causa y la razón por que lloraba!

In this sonnet, Garcilaso unusually makes the poet into an observer of metamorphosis, of Daphne being transformed into the laurel tree. The syntax imitates the transformation, as each line of the quartets ends with an imperfect tense and also a preponderance of reflexives, which locate the metamorphosis as an act of self-change. The tercets end on a note of self-reproach; the one who caused the loss of the object he desired nurtures the tree with his tears. The last tercet explains what this means; regret increases the reason for regretting. A psychology of sorrow that is very apparent in the Primera Egloga, where we find the similar image of tears that water a sickly plant.