Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
IV. Comfort and Cheer
Sonnet: “While yet these tears have power to flow”
Louise Labé (c. 1520–1566)
From the French by Louise Stuart Costello

WHILE yet these tears have power to flow
  For hours for ever past away;
While yet these swelling sighs allow
  My faltering voice to breathe a lay;
  While yet my hand can touch the chords,        5
    My tender lute, to wake thy tone;
  While yet my mind no thought affords,
    But one remembered dream alone,
I ask not death, whate’er my state:
  But when my eyes can weep no more,        10
    My voice is lost, my hand untrue,
  And when my spirit’s fire is o’er,
    Nor can express the love it knew,
Come, Death, and cast thy shadows o’er my fate!

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