To Laura In Death. Sonnet XXXIX.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Io pensava assai destro esser sull' ale.

UNWORTHY TO HAVE LOOKED UPON HER, HE IS STILL MORE SO TO ATTEMPT HER PRAISES.


I thought me apt and firm of wing to rise
(Not of myself, but him who trains us all)
In song, to numbers fitting the fair thrall
Which Love once fasten'd and which Death unties.
Slow now and frail, the task too sorely tries,
As a great weight upon a sucker small:
"Who leaps," I said, "too high may midway fall:
Man ill accomplishes what Heaven denies."
So far the wing of genius ne'er could fly--
Poor style like mine and faltering tongue much less--
As Nature rose, in that rare fabric, high.
Love follow'd Nature with such full success
In gracing her, no claim could I advance
Even to look, and yet was bless'd by chance.

MACGREGOR.

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