Thursday, May 21, 2009

Long-Felt Desires

by Louise Labé

Long-felt desires, hopes as long as vain—

sad sighs—slow tears accustomed to run sad

into as many rivers as two eyes can add,

pouring like fountains, endless as the rain—

cruelty beyond humanity, a pain

so hard it makes compassionate stars go mad

with pity: these are the first passions I’ve had.

Do you think love could root in my soul again?

If it arched the great bow back again at me,

licked me again with fire, and stabbed me deep

with the violent worst, as awful as before,

the wounds that cut me everywhere would keep

me shielded, so there would be no place free

for love. It covers me. It will pierce no more.

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