To Laura In Death. Sonnet LXIII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Tornami a mente, anzi v' è dentro quella.

SHE IS SO FIXED IN HIS HEART THAT AT TIMES HE BELIEVES HER STILL ALIVE, AND IS FORCED TO RECALL THE DATE OF HER DEATH.


Oh! to my soul for ever she returns;
Or rather Lethe could not blot her thence,
Such as she was when first she struck my sense,
In that bright blushing age when beauty burns:
So still I see her, bashful as she turns
Retired into herself, as from offence:
I cry--"'Tis she! she still has life and sense:
Oh, speak to me, my love!"--Sometimes she spurns
My call; sometimes she seems to answer straight:
Then, starting from my waking dream, I say,--
"Alas! poor wretch, thou art of mind bereft!
Forget'st thou the first hour of the sixth day
Of April, the three hundred, forty eight,
And thousandth year,--when she her earthly mansion left?"

MOREHEAD.


My mind recalls her; nay, her home is there,
Nor can Lethean draught drive thence her form,
I see that star's pure ray her spirit warm,
Whose grace and spring-time beauty she doth wear.
As thus my vision paints her charms so rare,
That none to such perfection may conform,
I cry, "'Tis she! death doth to life transform!"
And then to hear that voice, I wake my prayer.
She now replies, and now doth mute appear,
Like one whose tottering mind regains its power;
I speak my heart: "Thou must this cheat resign;
The thirteen hundred, eight and fortieth year,
The sixth of April's suns, his first bright hour,
Thou know'st that soul celestial fled its shrine!"

WOLLASTON.

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