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Luís de Camões

Love is a fire whose flame doth burn unseen

Love is a fire whose flame doth burn unseen
A wound whose aching smart we do not feel;
Contentment discontent with its own weal;
A teasing pain, though neither deep nor keen:

It is not liking more than liking e'en;
Wandering alone 'midst crowds that seem unreal;
Not to content one's self with Heaven's own seal;
A care that only gain by loss doth mean:

'Tis to be captured with one's own consent;
The victor to the vanquished here must serve;
Keep faith with one who on our death is bent:

How can its fickle favour e'er preserve
In human hearts consistence of intent,
Since to itself contrarious Love doth swerve?

poem by Luís de Camões from Sonnets (1595), translated by Collard J. StockReport problemRelated quotes
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