By Louise Labe
Do not reproach me, ladies, if I’ve loved
And felt a thousand torches burn my veins,
A thousand griefs, a thousand biting pains.
If all my days to bitter tears dissolved,
Then, ladies, do not denigrate my name.
If I did wrong, the pain and punishment
Are now. Don’t file their needles to a point.
Consider: Love is master of the game:
No need of Vulcan to explain your fire,
Nor of Adonis to excuse desire,
But with less cause than mine, far less occasion,
As the whim takes him, idly he can curse
You with a stranger and a stronger passion.
But O take care your suffering's not worse.