Sonnet CLXV.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

L' aura soave ch' al sol spiega e vibra.


The pleasant gale, that to the sun unplaits
And spreads the gold Love's fingers weave, and braid
O'er her fine eyes, and all around her head,
Fetters my heart, the wishful sigh creates:
No nerve but thrills, no artery but beats,
Approaching my fair arbiter with dread,
Who in her doubtful scale hath ofttimes weigh'd
Whether or death or life on me awaits;
Beholding, too, those eyes their fires display,
And on those shoulders shine such wreaths of hair,
Whose witching tangles my poor heart ensnare.
But how this magic's wrought I cannot say;
For twofold radiance doth my reason blind,
And sweetness to excess palls and o'erpowers my mind.


The soft gale to the sun which shakes and spreads
The gold which Love's own hand has spun and wrought.
There, with her bright eyes and those fairy threads,
Binds my poor heart and sifts each idle thought.
My veins of blood, my bones of marrow fail,
Thrills all my frame when I, to hear or gaze,
Draw near to her, who oft, in balance frail,
My life and death together holds and weighs,
And see those love-fires shine wherein I burn,
And, as its snow each sweetest shoulder heaves,
Flash the fair tresses right and left by turn;
Verse fails to paint what fancy scarce conceives.
From two such lights is intellect distress'd,
And by such sweetness weary and oppress'd.


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