Sonnet CXVI.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Non Tesin, Po, Varo, Arno, Adige e Tebro.


Not all the streams that water the bright earth,
Not all the trees to which its breast gives birth,
Can cooling drop or healing balm impart
To slack the fire which scorches my sad heart,
As one fair brook which ever weeps with me,
Or, which I praise and sing, as one dear tree.
This only help I find amid Love's strife;
Wherefore it me behoves to live my life
In arms, which else from me too rapid goes.
Thus on fresh shore the lovely laurel grows;
Who planted it, his high and graceful thought
'Neath its sweet shade, to Sorga's murmurs, wrote.



Nor Arne, nor Mincius, nor stately Tiber,
Sebethus, nor the flood into whose streams
He fell who burnt the world with borrow'd beams;
Gold-rolling Tagus, Munda, famous Iber,
Sorgue, Rhone, Loire, Garron, nor proud-bank'd Seine,
Peneus, Phasis, Xanthus, humble Ladon,
Nor she whose nymphs excel her who loved Adon,
Fair Tamesis, nor Ister large, nor Rhine,
Euphrates, Tigris, Indus, Hermus, Gange,
Pearly Hydaspes, serpent-like Meander,--
The gulf bereft sweet Hero her Leander--
Nile, that far, far his hidden head doth range,
Have ever had so rare a cause of praise
As Ora, where this northern Phoenix stays.


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