Sonnet CIV.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Pace non trovo, e non ho da far guerra.


I fynde no peace and all my warre is done,
I feare and hope, I bourne and freese lyke yse;
I flye above the wynde, yet cannot ryse;
And nought I have, yet all the worlde I season,
That looseth, nor lacketh, holdes me in pryson,
And holdes me not, yet can I escape no wyse.
Nor lets me leeve, nor die at my devyce,
And yet of death it giveth none occasion.
Without eye I see, and without tongue I playne;
I desyre to perishe, yet aske I health;
I love another, and yet I hate my self;
I feede in sorrow and laughe in all my payne,
Lykewyse pleaseth me both death and lyf,
And my delight is cawser of my greif.


[Footnote S: Harrington's Nugæ Antiquæ.]

Warfare I cannot wage, yet know not peace;
I fear, I hope, I burn, I freeze again;
Mount to the skies, then bow to earth my face;
Grasp the whole world, yet nothing can obtain.
His prisoner Love nor frees, nor will detain;
In toils he holds me not, nor will release;
He slays me not, nor yet will he unchain;
Nor joy allows, nor lets my sorrow cease.
Sightless I see my fair; though mute, I mourn;
I scorn existence, and yet court its stay;
Detest myself, and for another burn;
By grief I'm nurtured; and, though tearful, gay;
Death I despise, and life alike I hate:
Such, lady, dost thou make my wayward state!


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