An Arbiter (Sonnet on Stress #1)

(About a year ago I was going to do a series of sonnets about stress.  Only two emerged.  Here’s the first.)

An arbiter we crave to set the terms
in which we drink of joy and in which mourn.
The sage is growing jaundiced, who affirms
the humors’ spikes as beauties that adorn
the robe of liberty, the bower of love.
It was a specious proverb that could say,
There is no bliss before us or above
but what each heart can feel in each heart’s way.
I do not know! In truth I do not know!
All things are but themselves and I must change!
The universe bound up in joy and woe,
and must I navigate that endless range?
The veins fill up to burst amid the quest,
with poisons and with nectars they must test.

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