Sonnet XXIV

Do not reproach me, Ladies, if I've loved
And felt a thousand torches burn my veins,
A thousand griefs, a thousand biting pains
And all my days to bitter tears dissolved.
Thus, Ladies, do not denigrate my name.
If I did wrong, the pain and punishment
Are now. Don't file their daggers to a point.
You must know, Love is master of the game:
No need of Vulcan to explain your fire,
Nor of Adonis to excuse your desire,
But with less cause and far less occasion,
As the whim takes her, idly she can curse
You with a stronger and stranger passion.
But take care your suffering is not worse!

Louise Labe c 1520 - 1566
Translation Alice Park



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