Louise Labe

(1524 - 1566 / France)

Sonnet XIV


While I have tears that start into my eyes,
At memories of joys that we have known
And while my voice, still master of its own,
Is not yet choked with sobbing and with sighs.

While still my hand has cunning to devise,
A lover's cadence to the lute's soft tone
And while in understanding you alone,
I no more wisdom need to make me wise.

How could I want, as yet, that I were dead ?
And when these eyes have no more tears to shed,
My voice is hoarse and my hands lost their art.

When no longer can my tormented heart
Declare itself in love, then I will pray
For Death to blacken out my brightest day.

Submitted: Thursday, November 08, 2012

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