Sonnet CLI.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Amor, Natura, e la bell' alma umile.


Love, Nature, Laura's gentle self combines,
She where each lofty virtue dwells and reigns,
Against my peace: To pierce with mortal pains
Love toils--such ever are his stern designs.
Nature by bonds so slight to earth confines
Her slender form, a breath may break its chains;
And she, so much her heart the world disdains,
Longer to tread life's wearying round repines.
Hence still in her sweet frame we view decay
All that to earth can joy and radiance lend,
Or serve as mirror to this laggard age;
And Death's dread purpose should not Pity stay,
Too well I see where all those hopes must end,
With which I fondly soothed my lingering pilgrimage.


Love, Nature, and that gentle soul as bright,
Where every lofty virtue dwells and reigns,
Are sworn against my peace. As wont, Love strains
His every power that I may perish quite.
Nature her delicate form by bonds so slight
Holds in existence, that no help sustains;
She is so modest that she now disdains
Longer to brook this vile life's painful fight.
Thus fades and fails the spirit day by day,
Which on those dear and lovely limbs should wait,
Our mirror of true grace which wont to give:
And soon, if Mercy turn not Death away,
Alas! too well I see in what sad state
Are those vain hopes wherein I loved to live.


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