Sonnet CXLIII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Per mezzo i boschi inospiti e selvaggi.

EVER THINKING ON HER, HE PASSES FEARLESS AND SAFE THROUGH THE FOREST OF ARDENNES.


Through woods inhospitable, wild, I rove,
Where arm├Ęd travellers bend their fearful way;
Nor danger dread, save from that sun of love,
Bright sun! which darts a soul-enflaming ray.
Of her I sing, all-thoughtless as I stray,
Whose sweet idea strong as heaven's shall prove:
And oft methinks these pines, these beeches, move
Like nymphs; 'mid which fond fancy sees her play
I seem to hear her, when the whispering gale
Steals through some thick-wove branch, when sings a bird,
When purls the stream along yon verdant vale.
How grateful might this darksome wood appear,
Where horror reigns, where scarce a sound is heard;
But, ah! 'tis far from all my heart holds dear.

ANON. 1777.


Amid the wild wood's lone and difficult ways,
Where travel at great risk e'en men in arms,
I pass secure--for only me alarms
That sun, which darts of living love the rays--
Singing fond thoughts in simple lays to her
Whom time and space so little hide from me;
E'en here her form, nor hers alone, I see,
But maids and matrons in each beech and fir:
Methinks I hear her when the bird's soft moan,
The sighing leaves I hear, or through the dell
Where its bright lapse some murmuring rill pursues.
Rarely of shadowing wood the silence lone,
The solitary horror pleased so well,
Except that of my sun too much I lose.

MACGREGOR.

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