Sonnet CXIV.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

O d' ardente virtute ornata e calda.


O mind, by ardent virtue graced and warm'd.
To whom my pen so oft pours forth my heart;
Mansion of noble probity, who art
A tower of strength 'gainst all assault full arm'd.
O rose effulgent, in whose foldings, charm'd,
We view with fresh carnation snow take part!
O pleasure whence my wing'd ideas start
To that bless'd vision which no eye, unharm'd,
Created, may approach--thy name, if rhyme
Could bear to Bactra and to Thule's coast,
Nile, Tanaïs, and Calpe should resound,
And dread Olympus.--But a narrower bound
Confines my flight: and thee, our native clime
Between the Alps and Apennine must boast.


With glowing virtue graced, of warm heart known,
Sweet Spirit! for whom so many a page I trace,
Tower in high worth which foundest well thy base!
Centre of honour, perfect, and alone!
O blushes! on fresh snow like roses thrown,
Wherein I read myself and mend apace;
O pleasures! lifting me to that fair face
Brightest of all on which the sun e'er shone.
Oh! if so far its sound may reach, your name
On my fond verse shall travel West and East,
From southern Nile to Thule's utmost bound.
But such full audience since I may not claim,
It shall be heard in that fair land at least
Which Apennine divides, which Alps and seas surround.


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