Sonnet CCXXIV.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Cara la vita, e dopo lei mi pare.

HONOUR TO BE PREFERRED TO LIFE.


Methinks that life in lovely woman first,
And after life true honour should be dear;
Nay, wanting honour--of all wants the worst--
Friend! nought remains of loved or lovely here.
And who, alas! has honour's barrier burst,
Unsex'd and dead, though fair she yet appear,
Leads a vile life, in shame and torment curst,
A lingering death, where all is dark and drear.
To me no marvel was Lucretia's end,
Save that she needed, when that last disgrace
Alone sufficed to kill, a sword to die.
Sophists in vain the contrary defend:
Their arguments are feeble all and base,
And truth alone triumphant mounts on high!

MACGREGOR.

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