Affliction opens the eyes
All those of you who’ve either heard or seen
What in the past my lot has been,
What joys and pains of love I have endured
’Gainst which I never was inured,
When I was quite another person than
What you now see – this present man.
You who the life and nature of my woe,
My plaintive verse have read and know,
My sighing, crying, singing, fear and pain,
Yes, you for whom all this is plain,
Who are in love and know her game too well
From early years when in her spell,
Must marvel at the strangeness of God’s ways,
That I’m transformed so to your gaze,
So made anew, as if I’d never been
A man who took love as his queen,
So utterly have I changed heart and mind
And, by God’s grace, left love behind.
And I myself am grieved and put to shame,
When I consider how it came
To be that Amor duped me totally
And did deceive me openly,
That to the world I did exemplify
Love’s order dramatised thereby.
I’d not believed I ever could break free,
While on this earth my life should be,
Of such a craving, God thought otherwise,
Pronounced me innocent of lies,
And that my errors he would deign to mend,
Once I their harm did comprehend.
Then, though affliction’s flowering had been long,
Much helped by hate of wicked tongue,
Two fruits it finally did bear for me
Which oft since then do comfort me:
The one remorse, the other that at last
I understand my murky past.
I now know well all love and earthly joys
Are but as grass that time destroys,
And what a person fancies in his brain
Will subject him to its cruel reign,
The greatest penance thus ne’er comes on time,
Though now and then brings joys sublime.