Sonnet XXIII

What good is it to me that once you praised
The golden splendour of my plaited hair,
Or that to two bright Suns you would compare
The beauty of my eyes, from which Love gazed
And shot the cruel darts so expertly ?
Where are you now, tears that so quickly dried ?
Or death, which was to prove you would abide
By oath of love and solemn loyalty ?
Or did you seek from malice to delude,
Slavery by pretending servitude ?
Forgive the thought, this once, my dearest one,
When grief and anger fiercely combine;
I know, wherever you may have gone,
Your martyrdom is as harsh as mine.

Louise Labe c 1520 - 1566
Translation Alice Park



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