Sonnet XIV.

A poem by Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa

We are born at sunset and we die ere morn,
And the whole darkness of the world we know,
How can we guess its truth, to darkness born,
The obscure consequence of absent glow?
Only the stars do teach us light. We grasp
Their scattered smallnesses with thoughts that stray,
And, though their eyes look through night's complete mask,
Yet they speak not the features of the day.
Why should these small denials of the whole
More than the black whole the pleased eyes attract?
Why what it calls «worth» does the captive soul
Add to the small and from the large detract?
So, put of light's love wishing it night's stretch,
A nightly thought of day we darkly reach.

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