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Hadewijch of Antwerp
Female. Dutch. Poet. Christian mystic. Hadewijch compiled a "List of the Perfect," naming 86 persons, living and dead, whom she described as "clothed in love". (mid 1200's AD).
Poem: The Madness of Love
The madness of love
Is a rich fief;
Anyone who recognized this
Would not ask Love for anything else:
It can unite Opposites
And reverse the paradox.
I am declaring the truth about this:
The madness of love makes bitter what was sweet,
It makes the stranger a kinsman,
And it makes the smallest the most proud.
To souls who have not reached such love,
I give this good counsel:
If they cannot do more,
Let them beg Love for amnesty,
And serve with faith,
According to the counsel of noble Love,
And think: 'It can happen,
Love's power is so great!'
Only after his death
Is a man beyond cure.
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