A poem by Francesco Petrarca

S' una fede amorosa, un cor non finto.


If faith most true, a heart that cannot feign,
If Love's sweet languishment and chasten'd thought,
And wishes pure by nobler feelings taught,
If in a labyrinth wanderings long and vain,
If on the brow each pang pourtray'd to bear,
Or from the heart low broken sounds to draw,
Withheld by shame, or check'd by pious awe,
If on the faded cheek Love's hue to wear,
If than myself to hold one far more dear,
If sighs that cease not, tears that ever flow,
Wrung from the heart by all Love's various woe,
In absence if consumed, and chill'd when near,--
If these be ills in which I waste my prime,
Though I the sufferer be, yours, lady, is the crime.


If fondest faith, a heart to guile unknown,
By melting languors the soft wish betray'd;
If chaste desires, with temper'd warmth display'd;
If weary wanderings, comfortless and lone;
If every thought in every feature shown,
Or in faint tones and broken sounds convey'd,
As fear or shame my pallid cheek array'd
In violet hues, with Love's thick blushes strown;
If more than self another to hold dear;
If still to weep and heave incessant sighs,
To feed on passion, or in grief to pine,
To glow when distant, and to freeze when near,--
If hence my bosom's anguish takes its rise,
Thine, lady, is the crime, the punishment is mine.


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