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I climb collapsing under such great weight
this lofty, steep, and craggy mountainside,
that I scarce reach the summit when I step
on air, and, tumbling, to the base I slide.

All battered by the blows and by the load,
I barely rise, and to my old travails
I must return; but to what end? The ground
itself on my accustomed journey fails.

But, though the danger causes me to swoon,
I don't give up my quest; rather, again
my wearying exertions I repeat.

Fear grows, and in persistence so do I;
and without pause, as wheels must ever turn,
so I once more plunge down to my defeat.


Fernando de Herrera
Translation by Alix Ingber

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