My sweet rose, my delicate flower, my lily of lillies, it is perhaps in prison that I am going to test the power of love. I am going to see if I cannot make the bitter warders sweet by the intensity of the love I bear you. I have had moments when I thought it would be wiser to separate. Ah! Moments of weakness and madness!
Now I see that that would have mutilated my life, ruined my art, broken the musical chords which make a perfect soul. Even covered with mud, I shall praise you, from the deepest abysses I shall cry to you. In my solitude you will be with me. I am determined not to revolt but to accept every outrage through devotion to love, to let my body be dishonored so long as my soul may always keep the image of you. From your silken hair to your delicate feet you are perfection to me. Pleasure hides love from us, but pain reveals it in its essence. O dearest of all created things, if someone wounded by silence and solitude comes to you, dishonored, a laughing-stock. O! You can close his wounds by touching them and restore his soul which unhapiness had for a moment smothered. Nothing will be difficult for you then, and remember, it is that hope which makes me live, and that hope alone. What wisdom is to the philosopher, what God to His saint, you are to me. To keep you in my soul, such is the goal of this pain which men call life.
O my love, you whom I cherish above all things, white narcissus in an unmown field, think of the burden which falls to you, a burden which love alone can make light. But be not saddened by that, rather be happy to have filled with an immortal love the soul of a man who now weeps in hell, and yet carries heaven in his heart. I love you, I love you. My heart is a rose which your love has brought to bloom. My life is a desert fanned by the delicious breeze of your breath, and whose cool spring are your eyes; the imprint of your little feet makes valleys of shade for me, the odour of your hair is like myrrh, and wherever you go you exhale the perfumes of the cassia tree.
Love me always, love me always. You have been the supreme, the perfect love of my life; there can be no other. I decided that it was nobler and more beautiful to stay. We could not have been together. I did not want to be called a coward or deserter. A false name, a disguise, a hunted life, all that is not for me, to whom you have been revealed on that high hill where beautiful things are transfigured.
O sweetest of all boys. most loved of all loves, my soul clings to your soul, my life is your life, and in all the world of pain and pleasure you are my ideal of admiration and joy.
Of your beloved.