S' io avessi pensato che sì care.
HIS POEMS WERE WRITTEN ONLY TO SOOTHE HIS OWN GRIEF: OTHERWISE HE WOULD HAVE LABOURED TO MAKE THEM MORE DESERVING OF THE FAME THEY HAVE ACQUIRED.
Had I e'er thought that to the world so dear
The echo of my sighs would be in rhyme,
I would have made them in my sorrow's prime
Rarer in style, in number more appear.
Since she is dead my muse who prompted here,
First in my thoughts and feelings at all time,
All power is lost of tender or sublime
My rough dark verse to render soft and clear.
And certes, my sole study and desire
Was but--I knew not how--in those long years
To unburthen my sad heart, not fame acquire.
I wept, but wish'd no honour in my tears.
Fain would I now taste joy; but that high fair,
Silent and weary, calls me to her there.
Oh! had I deem'd my sighs, in numbers rung,
Could e'er have gain'd the world's approving smile,
I had awoke my rhymes in choicer style,
My sorrow's birth more tunefully had sung:
But she is gone whose inspiration hung
On all my words, and did my thoughts beguile;
My numbers harsh seem'd melody awhile,
Now she is mute who o'er them music flung.
Nor fame, nor other incense, then I sought,
But how to quell my heart's o'erwhelming grief;
I wept, but sought no honour in my tear:
But could the world's fair suffrage now be bought,
'Twere joy to gain, but that my hour is brief,
Her lofty spirit waves me to her bier.