Sonnet XX.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Se l' onorata fronde, che prescrive.

TO STRAMAZZO OF PERUGIA, WHO INVITED HIM TO WRITE POETRY.


If the world-honour'd leaf, whose green defies
The wrath of Heaven when thunders mighty Jove,
Had not to me prohibited the crown
Which wreathes of wont the gifted poet's brow,
I were a friend of these your idols too,
Whom our vile age so shamelessly ignores:
But that sore insult keeps me now aloof
From the first patron of the olive bough:
For Ethiop earth beneath its tropic sun
Ne'er burn'd with such fierce heat, as I with rage
At losing thing so comely and beloved.
Resort then to some calmer fuller fount,
For of all moisture mine is drain'd and dry,
Save that which falleth from mine eyes in tears.

MACGREGOR.

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