I dared and feared: but daring was so strong
that I then came to scorn cowardly fear;
I climbed to where fire most ignites and burns me
as I despaired most of hope to possess.
In error have I wasted all my youth;
now I can see the harm, but it's too late,
for common sense no longer can protect
him who surrenders, blind, to stubbornness.
At times I try (but to what end?) to rise
above the weight that presses on my neck;
although my failing strength can't pass the test.
My madness I pursue, then, for to change
now does no good, nor should one rate so low
him who so fully yielded up his breast.
Fernando de Herrera
Translation by Alix Ingber