Sonnet CLX.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Pasco la mente d' un sì nobil cibo.


I feed my fancy on such noble food,
That Jove I envy not his godlike meal;
I see her--joy invades me like a flood,
And lethe of all other bliss I feel;
I hear her--instantly that music rare
Bids from my captive heart the fond sigh flow;
Borne by the hand of Love I know not where,
A double pleasure in one draught I know.
Even in heaven that dear voice pleaseth well,
So winning are its words, its sound so sweet,
None can conceive, save who had heard, their spell;
Thus, in the same small space, visibly, meet
All charms of eye and ear wherewith our race
Art, Genius, Nature, Heaven have join'd to grace.


Such noble aliment sustains my soul,
That Jove I envy not his godlike food;
I gaze on her--and feel each other good
Engulph'd in that blest draught at Lethe's bowl:
Her every word I in my heart enrol,
That on its grief it still may constant brood;
Prostrate by Love--my doom not understood
From that one form, I feel a twin control.
My spirit drinks the music of her voice,
Whose speaking harmony (to heaven so dear)
They only feel who in its tone partake:
Again within her face my eyes rejoice,
For in its gentle lineaments appear
What Genius, Nature, Art, and Heaven can wake.


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