A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Grazie ch' a pochi 'l ciel largo destina.


Graces, that liberal Heaven on few bestows;
Rare excellence, scarce known to human kind;
With youth's bright locks age's ripe judgment join'd;
Celestial charms, which a meek mortal shows;
An elegance unmatch'd; and lips, whence flows
Music that can the sense in fetters bind;
A goddess step; a lovely ardent mind,
That breaks the stubborn, and the haughty bows;
Eyes, whose refulgence petrifies the heart,
To glooms, to shades that can a light impart,
Lift high the lover's soul, or plunge it low;
Speech link'd by tenderness and dignity;
With many a sweetly-interrupted sigh;
Such are the witcheries that transform me so.


Graces which liberal Heaven grants few to share:
Rare virtue seldom witness'd by mankind;
Experienced judgment with fair hair combined;
High heavenly beauty in a humble fair;
A gracefulness most excellent and rare;
A voice whose music sinks into the mind;
An angel gait; wit glowing and refined,
The hard to break, the high and haughty tear,
And brilliant eyes which turn the heart to stone,
Strong to enlighten hell and night, and take
Souls from our bodies and their own to make;
A speech where genius high yet gentle shone,
Evermore broken by the balmiest sighs
--Such magic spells transform'd me in this wise.


Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'Sonnet CLXXVIII.' by Francesco Petrarca

comments powered by Disqus