To A Woman


Antero Quental

You have been born for sadness and for pains:

Fate could have placed your narrow baby-bed

In palace, by the royal couch, instead

Of leaving you to grow on sandy plains;

And taken flowers the gay rich girl obtains,

To put across your breast and on your head:

To make you ... Fortune always does, it's said.

You'd always be the sort that Fate restrains.

You must be so. Your eyes, fixed in a stare

Are not of this world, and in them I read

An infinite, sad mystery without borne,

And your strange voice, vague and forgotten air

All tell me what I feel and must concede:

That for these things alone you have been born!

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