Sonnet CCX.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Chi vuol veder quantunque può Natura.


Who wishes to behold the utmost might
Of Heaven and Nature, on her let him gaze,
Sole sun, not only in my partial lays,
But to the dark world, blind to virtue's light!
And let him haste to view; for death in spite
The guilty leaves, and on the virtuous preys;
For this loved angel heaven impatient stays;
And mortal charms are transient as they're bright!
Here shall he see, if timely he arrive,
Virtue and beauty, royalty of mind,
In one bless'd union join'd. Then shall he say
That vainly my weak rhymes to praise her strive,
Whose dazzling beams have struck my genius blind:--
He must for ever weep if he delay!


Stranger, whose curious glance delights to trace
What Heaven and Nature join'd to frame most rare;
Here view mine eyes' bright sun--a sight so fair,
That purblind worlds, like me, enamour'd gaze.
But speed thy step; for Death with rapid pace
Pursues the best, nor makes the bad his care:
Call'd to the skies through yon blue fields of air,
On buoyant plume the mortal grace obeys.
Then haste, and mark in one rich form combined
(And, for that dazzling lustre dimm'd mine eye,
Chide the weak efforts of my trembling lay)
Each charm of person, and each power of mind--
But, slowly if thy lingering foot comply,
Grief and repentant shame shall mourn the brief delay.


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