Sonnet CLXXIX.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

In nobil sangue vita umile e queta.


High birth in humble life, reserved yet kind,
On youth's gay flower ripe fruits of age and rare,
A virtuous heart, therewith a lofty mind,
A happy spirit in a pensive air;
Her planet, nay, heaven's king, has fitly shrined
All gifts and graces in this lady fair,
True honour, purest praises, worth refined,
Above what rapt dreams of best poets are.
Virtue and Love so rich in her unite,
With natural beauty dignified address,
Gestures that still a silent grace express,
And in her eyes I know not what strange light,
That makes the noonday dark, the dusk night clear,
Bitter the sweet, and e'en sad absence dear.


Though nobly born, so humbly calm she dwells,
So bright her intellect--so pure her mind--
The blossom and its bloom in her we find;
With pensive look, her heart with mirth rebels:
Thus by her planets' union she excels,
(Nay--His, the stars' proud sov'reign, who enshrined
There honour, worth, and fortitude combined!)
Which to the bard inspired, his hope dispels.
Love blooms in her, but 'tis his home most pure;
Her daily virtues blend with native grace;
Her noiseless movements speak, though she is mute:
Such power her eyes, they can the day obscure,
Illume the night,--the honey's sweetness chase,
And wake its stream, where gall doth oft pollute.


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