I swear to you, Love, by your arrows
I swear to you, Love, by your arrows,
And by your powerful holy flame,
I care not if by one I’m maimed,
My heart burned, wasted by the other:
However far through times past or coming,
There never was nor will be woman
Whomever of them you wish to name,
Could know such sharpness, such devouring:
For there’s a virtue born from suffering,
That dims and conquers the sense of pain,
So that it’s barely felt, seems scarcely hurting.
No! This, that torments soul and body again,
This is the real fear presaging my dying:
What if my fire be only straw and flame?
–Gapara Stampa (click for more poems by Signora Gaspara)