I willed this. Cold and pale and shamed
Under the churchyard lawn,
You lie, who were all spotless once,
A lily in the winds of dawn
I start to feel that I have a sense of who Bertha P was. The thing about verse translation is that you have to try and inhabit the mind of the poet a bit, and that means a certain contact with the pain behind the words...
I walked the stations of your martyr's way
to the dark cross where you lay bound.
And every kiss of happier times
burned on your body like a wound.
I gave you poison from my heart,
I fed you strength that was my gall.
My soul cries out at its great work
At you, changed utterly. I fall
Down to my knees to worship you
And whip myself with loss.
You virgin with your whorish eyes,
I bound you to this cross.