Arrive I before that black gate of Dis
Which hath been so long a curse and a pain,
That my love I can no longer restrain,
So turn I quick about to gain a kiss.
Thought I my burden done, now only bliss!
But filthy Satan’s plot of lust profane
Did tempt passion to make my wit insane,
And see but fading form of love’s princiss.
O, to have denied her thus in such woe!
I should have demanded a safe retreat
That would my lady caused not this sorroe
To be confined to Hell’s infernal heat.
My grace, my dear! This love I could not save;
I had no faith, now joy never will have.
1. According to Plato and Virgil in the Aeneid, there are two gates to the Underworld through the realm of Sleep: there is the gate of horn (either dark or transparent) for true dreams and the gate of ivory (white) for lies and false dreams. In the Aeneid, Aeneas and Sibyl return to the living world through the ivory gate, presumably as a reminder from Virgil that the Aeneid is fictional (though this is constantly debated). I referenced the gate of Dis as black (in addition to its gloominess, of course) for the opposite reason, so that the (well-read) audience would view the tale as one that is believable and true. As Sidney noted, poetry is a reflection of the virtue and vice of life (and not, as Plato claimed, purely lies).
3. “That my love … restrain”: Orphos here fails to utilize his reason to continue overcoming his emotion, and his Sidneyan infected will costs him everything (see lines 6-7).
8. princiss: princess.
11. sorroe: sorrow.
14. “I had … will have.”: Orphos will have no joy because he had no faith in love, but it is also indicative of a larger Protestant theology: he had no faith in God to succeed, and as a result cannot enter Heaven.