Scarlet anchors that from wreck did me save
Announce in sunlight the hilly lands beyond:
What stranger can I stay in such a land?
Let me explore with strong will and form brave.
O, were I not so bound as passion’s slave!
This realm, this Eden, is untouched by hand,
And, while I feel that soul-forged lover’s bond,
I dare not pluck the ripe fruit that Eve have.
Nonetheless, is this not what God hath wrought?
Did not He toil for the love of man?
Let me but praise him, and take what I have sought,
For nature’s will is but of Heaven’s plan.
My love, my sweet, let me thee full embrace,
Forging divine what had once been but base.
I cheated slightly in ‘foreshadowing’ the 17th c. works of Donne here, notably “Elegy XIX: To His Mistress Going to Bed,” in which Donne imagines his lady as America, which he is discovering and conquering as an explorer.
5. passion’s slave: The references to wit, will, reason, and passion throughout the sequence are perhaps the most obvious nods to Sidney. In the Defense, Sidney discusses the infected will (which causes us to act and sin on passions) which we can overcome through the erected wit (relying on reason).
8. ripe fruit: fruit of knowledge (in this case carnal rather than spiritual or ‘real,’ suggesting an even cruder fall?), but also the female genitalia.