A Century’s Tale of Love

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I – Promise

Your promise born from your voice, an angel

Whose wings could not ascend to escape hell.

For Time’s a devil that taints the pristine,

Rots your words to unveil a truth unseen:

 

A promise made during a day so bright,

Is a promise all forgotten by night.

Desires and dreams are lost to the dark,

And subdued to silly little remarks.

 

The promise you have made becomes a lie—

Fake, fragile words that simply live to die.

Love leaves and lets my mind ensnare my heart,

And gives Hate the blade to tear us apart.

 

Our promise lived a life cut short,

Bonds break when nothing is left to support.

I – Promise

Your promise born from your

voice, an angel

Whose wings could not ascend to

escape hell.

For Time’s a devil that taints the

pristine,

Rots your words to unveil a truth

unseen:

 

A promise made during a day so

bright,

Is a promise all forgotten by night.

Desires and dreams are lost to the

dark,

And subdued to silly little

remarks.

 

The promise you have made

becomes a lie—

Fake, fragile words that simply live

to die.

Love leaves and lets my mind

ensnare my heart,

And gives Hate the blade to tear

us apart.

 

Our promise lived a life cut short,

Bonds break when nothing is left

to support.

II – Battlefield

Soldiers of Love, beware the battlefields

Where mud stains, hate taints, and argument yields

Trenches that split apart two minds, two hearts,

Two bodies declare war and peace departs.

 

The keg of collective disagreements,

The fuse of down-spiraling resentments,

The spark of one night, from silence to scream,

The bomb of one fight, no treaty to dream.

 

In conflict, the two come together and

Fight for bitter control of the same land.

Stares and shouts shall become bullets and blades,

Tears be bloody rain where happiness fades.

 

So come daybreak on the high hill you won:

Was your victory worth the damage done?

II – Battlefield

Soldiers of Love, beware the

battlefields

Where mud stains, hate taints,

and argument yields

Trenches that split apart two

minds, two hearts,

Two bodies declare war and

peace departs.

 

The keg of collective

disagreements,

The fuse of down-spiraling

resentments,

The spark of one night, from

silence to scream,

The bomb of one fight, no treaty

to dream.

 

In conflict, the two come together

and

Fight for bitter control of the

same land.

Stares and shouts shall become

bullets and blades,

Tears be bloody rain where

happiness fades.

 

So come daybreak on the high hill

you won:

Was your victory worth the

damage done?

III – Rebuild

The gray clouds weep their tears across the sky,

And we have been soaked in silence, inside.

We are subjects to the wind’s awful cry,  

For the roof of our love is open wide.

 

We suffer for the sickness of our bond.

Once it broke, then the vile Misfortune latched.

We begged for the cure and heard Love respond,

“My kingdom does not deal with the detached.”

 

And so I gathered bark and sturdy steel,

In hopes I can repair the gaping hole. 

You watched from afar and yet, I can feel

The ray of sunshine resting in your soul.

 

For even as broken as we have been,

You still stayed to rebuild our hearts within.

III – Rebuild

The gray clouds weep their tears

across the sky,

And we have been soaked in

silence, inside.

We are subjects to the wind’s

awful cry,  

For the roof of our love is open

wide.

 

We suffer for the sickness of our

bond.

Once it broke, then the vile

Misfortune latched.

We begged for the cure and

heard Love respond,

“My kingdom does not deal with

the detached.”

 

And so I gathered bark and sturdy

steel,

In hopes I can repair the gaping

hole. 

You watched from afar and yet, I

can feel

The ray of sunshine resting in your

soul.

 

For even as broken as we have

been,

You still stayed to rebuild our

hearts within.

IV – Moon

Rise up Moon, revel for there is no cloud

To shade your shouts! Release your splendid light,

Ignite your starry cousins—make them proud!

Align the heavens for destined delight!


Greet me in the night, guide me through the land,

Give me the safe path to the one I love.

Permit my return, so then with my hand, 

I can lead my love to your show above.


Together we will watch your bright ballroom,

Where stars mingle in twinkling embrace.

Under your shine, the greatest sight would bloom:

A serene smile glowing on my love’s face. 

 

Yes, you bring comfort to uncertain dark,

But my love still stands as Joy’s brightest mark.

IV – Moon

Rise up Moon, revel for there is no

cloud

To shade your shouts! Release

your splendid light,

Ignite your starry cousins—make

them proud!

Align the heavens for destined

delight!

 

Greet me in the night, guide me

through the land,

Give me the safe path to the one I

love.

Permit my return, so then with

my hand, 

I can lead my love to your show

above.

 

Together we will watch your

bright ballroom,

Where stars mingle in twinkling

embrace.

Under your shine, the greatest

sight would bloom:

A serene smile glowing on my

love’s face. 

 

Yes, you bring comfort to

uncertain dark,

But my love still stands as Joy’s

brightest mark.

 
 

V – You

The hair strands on your head are

going gray, 

And further on your skin more

wrinkles raid, 

But looking in your eyes is our

first day—

The strong scent of youth has

seemingly stayed.


No sweet talk can deny your arms

now weak,

But hands holding, I see the

strength you keep.

Although your legs cannot run at

its peak,

Your feet still walk what life there

is to reap.


Your mind is prone to falter and

forget,

But remind you I will with love

and care,

Why at yourself, you stare and get

upset,

Waste time in your reflection to

compare?


The perfection you seek is always

near:

Call to the mirror and you will

appear.

V – You

The hair strands on your head are going gray, 

And further on your skin more wrinkles raid, 

But looking in your eyes is our first day—

The strong scent of youth has seemingly stayed.


No sweet talk can deny your arms now weak,

But hands holding, I see the strength you keep.

Although your legs cannot run at its peak,

Your feet still walk what life there is to reap.


Your mind is prone to falter and forget,

But remind you I will with love and care,

Why at yourself, you stare and get upset,

Waste time in your reflection to compare?


The perfection you seek is always near:

Call to the mirror and you will appear.

VI – Death

So it goes Death has sent me a

letter, 

That in due time they will strike

me down dead,

A poison with no chance to get

better,

And so my mind now lives in

bitter dread.

 

 

So let us dance while my legs can



still stand,
 
 

Let us prance on the floor as best

we can.

Ignore the coldness on my shaky

hand,

Deafen the clock ticking towards

their plan.

 

So when my body can move no

longer,

Paralyzed as my eyes turn to

blindness,

Let us dance at a pace even

stronger,

In dark, guide my footsteps in

your kindness.

 

So although Death reaps with

sorrowful haste,

Come, let not our precious time

go to waste.

 
 

VI – Death

So it goes Death has sent me a letter, 

That in due time they will strike me down dead,

A poison with no chance to get better,

And so my mind now lives in bitter dread.


So let us dance while my legs can still stand,

Let us prance on the floor as best we can.

Ignore the coldness on my shaky hand,

Deafen the clock ticking towards their plan.


So when my body can move no longer,

Paralyzed as my eyes turn to blindness,

Let us dance at a pace even stronger,

In dark, guide my footsteps in your kindness.


So although Death reaps with sorrowful haste,

Come, let not our precious time go to waste.

VII – Eternity

To my beloved: how long has it

been?

Your first time or thousandth—it

matters not.

You hold the ink and wood that

carves within,

An echo of my voice you have

long sought.

 

And repeat to you I will: do not

cry,

If it not be tears of joy; do not

mourn,

If it means your delight must go

and die.

For my promise to you has said

and sworn:

 

Absent I am in flesh, but not in

soul,

If you let my pages be by your

side.

And if silence comes to swallow

you whole,

Remember my lines, take them

up inside:

 

Although death is our only

certainty,

In words, the heart lives for

eternity.

VII – Eternity

To my beloved: how long has it been?

Your first time or thousandth—it matters not.

You hold the ink and wood that carves within,

An echo of my voice you have long sought.


And repeat to you I will: do not cry,

If it not be tears of joy; do not mourn,

If it means your delight must go and die.

For my promise to you has said and sworn:


Absent I am in flesh, but not in soul,

If you let my pages be by your side.

And if silence comes to swallow you whole,

Remember my lines, take them up inside:


Although death is our only certainty,

In words, the heart lives for eternity.

On Sean Abellera's Inspiration

“A Century’s Tale of Love” was the final project I created for ENL 010A, an English literature course surrounding the Restoration period. This collection of sonnets chronicles two lovers and their hundred-year long journey in navigating a troubled relationship and eventually, the inescapability of death.

These poems were inspired by the ambiguous nature of Shakespeare’s sonnets, the narrative structure of Sir Phillip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, and the general styles and subject matters of 16th and 17th century poetry. Although “A Century’s Tale of Love” pays homage to the traditional forms of that era, such as the blazon or the carpe diem, I took some creative liberties in order to modernize them: for instance, some poems are more flexible with their rhyming scheme and syllables, loosely following the English sonnet form. Likewise, the speaker now directly addresses their beloved, creating a more intimate connection between them—a rejection of the untouchable, distant “Sonnet lady” commonly portrayed in that era.

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Sean Abellera
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Currently an undergraduate at UC Davis, I am pursuing a double major in English and Cinema & Digital Media. Born in the Bay Area, I spent most of my childhood invested with the imaginative worlds of video games, books, and films—all of which continue to influence my own creative pursuits. I hope my writing and ideas can entertain and inspire others, even if that means a quick smile or a few moments of thought.

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