Jan. 28th, 2010

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Sonnet XVIII, translated by Graham Dunstan:

Kiss me again, kiss, kiss me again;
Give me the tastiest you have to give,
Pay me the lovingest you have to spend:
And I'll return you four, hotter than live
Coals. Oh, are you sad ? There! Ill ease
The pain with ten more kisses, honey-sweet,
And so kiss into happy kiss will melt,
We'll pleasantly enjoy each others' selves.
Then double life will to us both ensue:
You also live in me, as I in you.
So do not chide me for this play on words
Or keep me staid and stay-at-home, but make me
Go on that journey best of all preferred:
When out of myself, my dearest love, you take me.

Sonnet XXIV, translated by Alice Park:

Do not blame me, ladies, if I’ve been moved,
If I have felt a thousand fiery flames,
A thousand wincings, and a thousand pangs,
If I’ve been worn out weeping for my love.

Oh, no! Don’t whisper insults at my name.
If I have erred, my sentence is at hand.
And don’t let fly your barbs. But understand
That love does appear in its own sweet time.

Don’t say it is the god of fire who lights
The match. And don’t be finding fault with fair
Adonis, for your plunge into the bright
And lovely passion. Please take care.

And have a bit more sense than I have had.
Then try, dear ladies, not to be so sad.

Louise Labé (ca. 1525-1566).

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