Sonnet LV.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

I begli occhi, ond' i' fui percosso in guisa.


The bright eyes which so struck my fenceless side
That they alone which harm'd can heal the smart
Beyond or power of herbs or magic art,
Or stone which oceans from our shores divide,
The chance of other love have so denied
That one sweet thought alone contents my heart,
From following which if ne'er my tongue depart,
Pity the guided though you blame the guide.
These are the bright eyes which, in every land
But most in its own shrine, my heart, adored,
Have spread the triumphs of my conquering lord;
These are the same bright eyes which ever stand
Burning within me, e'en as vestal fires,
In singing which my fancy never tires.


Not all the spells of the magician's art,
Not potent herbs, nor travel o'er the main,
But those sweet eyes alone can soothe my pain,
And they which struck the blow must heal the smart;
Those eyes from meaner love have kept my heart,
Content one single image to retain,
And censure but the medium wild and vain,
If ill my words their honey'd sense impart;
These are those beauteous eyes which never fail
To prove Love's conquest, wheresoe'er they shine,
Although my breast hath oftenest felt their fire;
These are those beauteous eyes which still assail
And penetrate my soul with sparks divine,
So that of singing them I cannot tire.


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