Bernard de Ventadorn

1150 - 1195

When I Behold The Lark

When I behold the lark upspring
To meet the bright sun joyfully,
How he forgets to poise his wing
In his gay spirit's revelry,
Alas! that mournful thoughts should spring
E'en from that happy songster's glee!
Strange, that such gladdening sight should bring
Not joy, but pining care to me!

I thought my heart had known the whole
Of love, but small its knowledge proved.
For still the more my longing soul
Loves on, itself the while unloved:
She stole my heart, myself she stole,
And all I prized from me removed;
She left me but the fierce control
Of vain desires for her I loved.

All self-command is now gone by,
E'er since the luckless hour when she
Became a mirror to my eye,
Whereon I gazed complacently.
Thou fatal mirror! there I spy
Love's image; and my doom shall be,
Like young Narcissus, thus to sigh,
And thus expire, beholding thee.
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