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Love is a Fire that Burns Unseen

  • Contest: Love Poetry
  • Author: Luís vaz de Camões
  • Translation: Richard Zenith
  • Love is a fire that burns unseen,
    a wound that aches yet isn’t felt,
    an always discontent contentment,
    a pain that rages without hurting,

    a longing for nothing but to long,
    a loneliness in the midst of people,
    a never feeling pleased when pleased,
    a passion that gains when lost in thought.

    It’s being enslaved of your own free will;
    it’s counting your defeat a victory;
    it’s staying loyal to your killer.

    But if it’s so self-contradictory,
    how can Love, when Love chooses,
    bring human hearts into sympathy?

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