Hunger's Brides
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Novel Excerpts | Sor Juana's Poetry

"Heretic's song"


About this poem

Composed by Luis de Carvajal in prison. He was soon burned at the stake by the Inquisition.


       I sinned, Lord, but not because I have sinned

       do I your clemency and love relinquish.

       For my wrongs I tremble at being punished,

       yet dream of being through your goodness pardoned.

       I accuse myself, even as You have waited on me,

       of being abhorrent in my ingratitude,

       and so my sin of being all the viler,

       for your being so worthy of all love.

       Were it not for You, what would become of me?

       And from myself, without You, who would deliver me

       if your hand withheld its grace from me?

       And but for me, my Lord, who would fail to love You?

       And but for You, God, who would suffer me?

       And to You, without You, my Lord, who would carry me?

- Luis de Carvajal

   B. Limosneros, trans.

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