Sonnet I

What if the hero of the Odyssey
Had been like you, a man that's fair of face ?
Would he have had that easy-mannered grace,
Yet be the cause of so much agony ?
At any rate, your roving ways are sure
To make me count the weeks we've been apart,
And open gaping wounds within my heart,
This ailing heart which you alone can cure.
O ill-starred fate! A scorpion sting
Eats at my heart. I need a remedy
From the malicious beast that poisoned me.
I beg you, dear, just stop my suffering.
Come back to your true love, and let me lie
Clasped in your arms again, or let me die.

Louise Labe c 1520 - 1566
Translation Alice Park



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