Sonnet XLVIII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Padre del ciel, dopo i perduti giorni.

CONSCIOUS OF HIS FOLLY, HE PRAYS GOD TO TURN HIM TO A BETTER LIFE.


Father of heaven! after the days misspent,
After the nights of wild tumultuous thought,
In that fierce passion's strong entanglement,
One, for my peace too lovely fair, had wrought;
Vouchsafe that, by thy grace, my spirit bent
On nobler aims, to holier ways be brought;
That so my foe, spreading with dark intent
His mortal snares, be foil'd, and held at nought.
E'en now th' eleventh year its course fulfils,
That I have bow'd me to the tyranny
Relentless most to fealty most tried.
Have mercy, Lord! on my unworthy ills:
Fix all my thoughts in contemplation high;
How on the cross this day a Saviour died.

DACRE.


Father of heaven! despite my days all lost,
Despite my nights in doting folly spent
With that fierce passion which my bosom rent
At sight of her, too lovely for my cost;
Vouchsafe at length that, by thy grace, I turn
To wiser life, and enterprise more fair,
So that my cruel foe, in vain his snare
Set for my soul, may his defeat discern.
Already, Lord, the eleventh year circling wanes
Since first beneath his tyrant yoke I fell
Who still is fiercest where we least rebel:
Pity my undeserved and lingering pains,
To holier thoughts my wandering sense restore,
How on this day his cross thy Son our Saviour bore.

MACGREGOR.

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