The Sonnets of Louise Labé


Louise Labé (1524 – 1566) was born in Lyons France, and died there. Her father, Pierre Labé, was a prosperous ropemaker. Louise married an older man, Ennemond Perrin, also a ropemaker; hence, her famous nickname La Belle Cordière, the beautiful wife of a ropemaker.


Louise belonged to the Lyons group of poets. She wrote twenty-four sonnets, all on the single theme of passionate love, its anguish as well as its tenderness. Although there is no definite proof that she had one or more liaisons, her last sonnet, Do Not Blame Me, Ladies, is a half-playful answer to the charges leveled against her by Lyons society.


·       Sonnet I                     What If The Hero

·       Sonnet II                    Your Cold, Appraising Eyes

·       Sonnet III                  My Long Desire

·       Sonnet IV                  When Love Arrives

·       Sonnet V                    Bright Venus

·       Sonnet VI                  Twice Blessed

·       Sonnet VII                 All Love Is Seen

·       Sonnet VIII               I Live, I Die

·       Sonnet IX                  However Soon

·       Sonnet X                    When I Catch Sight

·       Sonnet XI                  One Passing Glance

·       Sonnet XII                 O Lute, True Friend

·       Sonnet XIII                If Only I Were Ravished

·       Sonnet XIV                As Long As Tears

·       Sonnet XV                 Pay Homage

·       Sonnet XVI                A Bolt Of Lightning

·       Sonnet XVII               I Run Away

·       Sonnet XVIII             O Kiss Me

·       Sonnet XIX                The Beautiful Diana

·       Sonnet XX                 I Always Knew

·       Sonnet XXI                That Solemn Grandeur

·       Sonnet XXII               O Shining Sun

·       Sonnet XXIII             Alas! You Used To Pour Out Lavish Praise

·       Sonnet XXIV             Do Not Blame Me, Ladies


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