S' onesto amor può meritar mercede.
HE PRAYS THAT, IN REWARD FOR HIS LONG AND VIRTUOUS ATTACHMENT, SHE WILL VISIT HIM IN DEATH.
If Mercy e'er rewardeth virtuous love,
If Pity still can do, as she has done,
I shall have rest, for clearer than the sun
My lady and the world my faith approve.
Who fear'd me once, now knows, yet scarce believes
I am the same who wont her love to seek,
Who seek it still; where she but heard me speak,
Or saw my face, she now my soul perceives.
Wherefore I hope that e'en in heaven she mourns
My heavy anguish, and on me the while
Her sweet face eloquent of pity turns,
And that when shuffled off this mortal coil,
Her way to me with that fair band she'll wend,
True follower of Christ and virtue's friend.
If virtuous love doth merit recompense--
If pity still maintain its wonted sway--
I that reward shall win, for bright as day
To earth and Laura breathes my faith's incense.
She fear'd me once--now heavenly confidence
Reveals my heart's first hope's unchanging stay;
A word, a look, could this alone convey,
My heart she reads now, stripp'd of earth's defence.
And thus I hope, she for my heavy sighs
To heaven complains, to me she pity shows
By sympathetic visits in my dream:
And when this mortal temple breathless lies,
Oh! may she greet my soul, enclosed by those
Whom heaven and virtue love--our friends supreme.