Love in itself is naturally good,
And if therefrom we suffer such grave ills,
'tis that our passion runs to such extremes,
and thus we come to grief by our own fault.
Of all the elements that Nature holds
the noblest and most excellent is fire.
But if one heaps upon it too much wood,
its ardent force can set the world ablaze.
How much more so if one adds other fuel,
as pitch or tar, to urge combustion on.
Such those that I did cast in my sad state!
For this, while pining under Cupid's heat,
I got so scorchèd, as I fanned the flame,
that folly's burns show clearly on my face.
Translated by David Hildner, 2000