Sonnet XXVII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Apollo, s' ancor vive il bel desio.


O Phoebus, if that fond desire remains,
Which fired thy breast near the Thessalian wave;
If those bright tresses, which such pleasure gave,
Through lapse of years thy memory not disdains;
From sluggish frosts, from rude inclement rains.
Which last the while thy beams our region leave,
That honour'd sacred tree from peril save,
Whose name of dear accordance waked our pains!
And, by that amorous hope which soothed thy care,
What time expectant thou wert doom'd to sigh
Dispel those vapours which disturb our sky!
So shall we both behold our favorite fair
With wonder, seated on the grassy mead,
And forming with her arms herself a shade.


If live the fair desire, Apollo, yet
Which fired thy spirit once on Peneus' shore,
And if the bright hair loved so well of yore
In lapse of years thou dost not now forget,
From the long frost, from seasons rude and keen,
Which last while hides itself thy kindling brow,
Defend this consecrate and honour'd bough,
Which snared thee erst, whose slave I since have been.
And, by the virtue of the love so dear
Which soothed, sustain'd thee in that early strife,
Our air from raw and lowering vapours clear:
So shall we see our lady, to new life
Restored, her seat upon the greensward take,
Where her own graceful arms a sweet shade o'er her make.


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