O tempo, o ciel volubil che fuggendo.
HE NO LONGER CONTEMPLATES THE MORTAL, BUT THE IMMORTAL BEAUTIES OF LAURA.
O Time! O heavens! whose flying changes frame
Errors and snares for mortals poor and blind;
O days more swift than arrows or the wind,
Experienced now, I know your treacherous aim.
You I excuse, myself alone I blame,
For Nature for your flight who wings design'd
To me gave eyes which still I have inclined
To mine own ill, whence follow grief and shame.
An hour will come, haply e'en now is pass'd,
Their sight to turn on my diviner part
And so this infinite anguish end at last.
Rejects not your long yoke, O Love, my heart,
But its own ill by study, sufferings vast:
Virtue is not of chance, but painful art.
O Time! O circling heavens! in your flight
Us mortals ye deceive--so poor and blind;
O days! more fleeting than the shaft or wind,
Experience brings your treachery to my sight!
But mine the error--ye yourselves are right;
Your flight fulfils but that your wings design'd:
My eyes were Nature's gift, yet ne'er could find
But one blest light--and hence their present blight.
It now is time (perchance the hour is pass'd)
That they a safer dwelling should select,
And thus repose might soothe my grief acute:
Love's yoke the spirit may not from it cast,
(With oh what pain!) it may its ill eject;
But virtue is attain'd but by pursuit!