A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Quando 'l sol bagna in mur l' aurato carro.


When in the sea sinks the sun's golden light,
And on my mind and nature darkness lies,
With the pale moon, faint stars and clouded skies
I pass a weary and a painful night:
To her who hears me not I then rehearse
My sad life's fruitless toils, early and late;
And with the world and with my gloomy fate,
With Love, with Laura and myself, converse.
Sleep is forbid me: I have no repose,
But sighs and groans instead, till morn returns,
And tears, with which mine eyes a sad heart feeds;
Then comes the dawn, the thick air clearer grows,
But not my soul; the sun which in it burns
Alone can cure the grief his fierce warmth breeds.


When Phoebus lashes to the western main
His fiery steeds, and shades the lurid air;
Grief shades my soul, my night is spent in care;
Yon moon, yon stars, yon heaven begin my pain.
Wretch that I am! full oft I urge in vain
To heedless beings all those pangs I bear;
Of the false world, of an unpitying fair,
Of Love, and fickle fortune I complain!
From eve's last glance, till morning's earliest ray,
Sleep shuns my couch; rest quits my tearful eye;
And my rack'd breast heaves many a plaintive sigh.
Then bright Aurora cheers the rising day,
But cheers not me--for to my sorrowing heart
One sun alone can cheering light impart!

ANON. 1777.

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