Quando fra l' altre donne ad ora ad ora.
THE BEAUTY OF LAURA LEADS HIM TO THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE SUPREME GOOD.
Throned on her angel brow, when Love displays
His radiant form among all other fair,
Far as eclipsed their choicest charms appear,
I feel beyond its wont my passion blaze.
And still I bless the day, the hour, the place,
When first so high mine eyes I dared to rear;
And say, "Fond heart, thy gratitude declare,
That then thou had'st the privilege to gaze.
'Twas she inspired the tender thought of love,
Which points to heaven, and teaches to despise
The earthly vanities that others prize:
She gave the soul's light grace, which to the skies
Bids thee straight onward in the right path move;
Whence buoy'd by hope e'en, now I soar to worlds above."
When Love, whose proper throne is that sweet face,
At times escorts her 'mid the sisters fair,
As their each beauty is than hers less rare,
So swells in me the fond desire apace.
I bless the hour, the season and the place,
So high and heavenward when my eyes could dare;
And say: "My heart! in grateful memory bear
This lofty honour and surpassing grace:
From her descends the tender truthful thought,
Which follow'd, bliss supreme shall thee repay,
Who spurn'st the vanities that win the crowd:
From her that gentle graceful love is caught,
To heaven which leads thee by the right-hand way,
And crowns e'en here with hopes both pure and proud."