Sonnet X.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Gloriosa Colonna, in cui s' appoggia.


Glorious Colonna! still the strength and stay
Of our best hopes, and the great Latin name
Whom power could never from the true right way
Seduce by flattery or by terror tame:
No palace, theatres, nor arches here,
But, in their stead, the fir, the beech, and pine
On the green sward, with the fair mountain near
Paced to and fro by poet friend of thine;
Thus unto heaven the soul from earth is caught;
While Philomel, who sweetly to the shade
The livelong night her desolate lot complains,
Fills the soft heart with many an amorous thought:
--Ah! why is so rare good imperfect made
While severed from us still my lord remains.


Glorious Colonna! thou, the Latins' hope,
The proud supporter of our lofty name,
Thou hold'st thy path of virtue still the same,
Amid the thunderings of Rome's Jove--the Pope.
Not here do human structures interlope
The fir to rival, or the pine-tree's claim,
The soul may revel in poetic flame
Upon yon mountain's green and gentle slope.
And thus from earth to heaven the spirit soars,
Whilst Philomel her tale of woe repeats
Amid the sympathising shades of night,
Thus through man's breast love's current sweetly pours:
Yet still thine absence half the joy defeats,--
Alas! my friend, why dim such radiant light?


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