Sonnet CXV.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Quando 'l voler, che con duo sproni ardenti.


When, with two ardent spurs and a hard rein,
Passion, my daily life who rules and leads,
From time to time the usual law exceeds
That calm, at least in part, my spirits may gain,
It findeth her who, on my forehead plain,
The dread and daring of my deep heart reads,
And seeth Love, to punish its misdeeds,
Lighten her piercing eyes with worse disdain.
Wherefore--as one who fears the impending blow
Of angry Jove--it back in haste retires,
For great fears ever master great desires;
But the cold fire and shrinking hopes which so
Lodge in my heart, transparent as a glass,
O'er her sweet face at times make gleams of grace to pass.


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