Sonnet CLXXVI.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Voglia mi sprona; Amor mi guida e scorge.


Passion impels me, Love escorts and leads,
Pleasure attracts me, habits old enchain,
Hope with its flatteries comforts me again,
And, at my harass'd heart, with fond touch pleads.
Poor wretch! it trusts her still, and little heeds
The blind and faithless leader of our train;
Reason is dead, the senses only reign:
One fond desire another still succeeds.
Virtue and honour, beauty, courtesy,
With winning words and many a graceful way,
My heart entangled in that laurel sweet.
In thirteen hundred seven and twenty, I
--'Twas April, the first hour, on its sixth day--
Enter'd Love's labyrinth, whence is no retreat.


By will impell'd, Love o'er my path presides;
By Pleasure led, o'ercome by Habit's reign,
Sweet Hope deludes, and comforts me again;
At her bright touch, my heart's despair subsides.
It takes her proffer'd hand, and there confides.
To doubt its blind disloyal guide were vain;
Each sense usurps poor Reason's broken rein;
On each desire, another wilder rides!
Grace, virtue, honour, beauty, words so dear,
Have twined me with that laurell'd bough, whose power
My heart hath tangled in its lab'rinth sweet:
The thirteen hundred twenty-seventh year,
The sixth of April's suns--in that first hour,
My entrance mark'd, whence I see no retreat.


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