Poetic Inspiration

c. Seventeenth-century sonnet, author unknown

Thine eyes, lady, shine brighter than the sun
That playing across Apistos' gilded prow
Fell on Amotan's pearls and made each one [1]
Glow like a celestial orb. On thy brow
Furl rings of gold to rival the great hoard
This mighty ship carried as an unborn wean
From ‘Xandria fair to berth on safe sward
Had cov'tous Neptune not demanded lien.
His waves did gulp the treasures as doth age
All fires cold-douse, all embers render ash,
Left old Amotan nothing but his rage
To see his cautious husbandry prove rash.
Thy beauty guard'st thou ne'er so jealously
Will founder; thus entrust thy jewels to me.

[1] Amotan was a Roman freedman who allegedly had a huge fortune that was lost in a great shipwreck in the first or second century AD: http://www.principate-era.com/page6/index.html#amotan. See my ‘Greek Myth and Worship’ section for more on Amotan and his story as an example of Icarian hubris.