To Laura In Death. Sonnet LXXII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Ripensando a quel ch' oggi il ciel onora.

HE WOULD DIE OF GRIEF WERE SHE NOT SOMETIMES TO CONSOLE HIM BY HER PRESENCE.


To that soft look which now adorns the skies,
The graceful bending of the radiant head,
The face, the sweet angelic accents fled,
That soothed me once, but now awake my sighs
Oh! when to these imagination flies,
I wonder that I am not long since dead!
'Tis she supports me, for her heavenly tread
Is round my couch when morning visions rise!
In every attitude how holy, chaste!
How tenderly she seems to hear the tale
Of my long woes, and their relief to seek!
But when day breaks she then appears in haste
The well-known heavenward path again to scale,
With moisten'd eye, and soft expressive cheek!

MOREHEAD.


'Tis sweet, though sad, my trembling thoughts to raise,
As memory dwells upon that form so dear,
And think that now e'en angels join to praise
The gentle virtues that adorn'd her here;
That face, that look, in fancy to behold--
To hear that voice that did with music vie--
The bending head, crown'd with its locks of gold--
All, all that charm'd, now but sad thoughts supply.
How had I lived her bitter loss to weep,
If that pure spirit, pitying my woe,
Had not appear'd to bless my troubled sleep,
Ere memory broke upon the world below?
What pure, what gentle greetings then were mine!
In what attention wrapt she paused to hear
My life's sad course, of which she bade me speak!
But as the dawn from forth the East did shine
Back to that heaven to which her way was clear,
She fled,--while falling tears bedew'd each cheek.

WROTTESLEY.

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