Sonnet CXVII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Che fai, alma? che pensi? avrem mai pace?


P. What actions fire thee, and what musings fill?
Soul! is it peace, or truce, or war eterne?
H. Our lot I know not, but, as I discern,
Her bright eyes favour not our cherish'd ill.
P. What profit, with those eyes if she at will
Makes us in summer freeze, in winter burn?
H. From him, not her those orbs their movement learn.
P. What's he to us, she sees it and is still.
H. Sometimes, though mute the tongue, the heart laments
Fondly, and, though the face be calm and bright,
Bleeds inly, where no eye beholds its grief.
P. Nathless the mind not thus itself contents,
Breaking the stagnant woes which there unite,
For misery in fine hopes finds no relief.


P. What act, what dream, absorbs thee, O my soul?
Say, must we peace, a truce, or warfare hail?
H. Our fate I know not; but her eyes unveil
The grief our woe doth in her heart enrol.
P. But that is vain, since by her eyes' control
With nature I no sympathy inhale.
H. Yet guiltless she, for Love doth there prevail.
P. No balm to me, since she will not condole.
H. When man is mute, how oft the spirit grieves,
In clamorous woe! how oft the sparkling eye
Belies the inward tear, where none can gaze!
P. Yet restless still, the grief the mind conceives
Is not dispell'd, but stagnant seems to lie.
The wretched hope not, though hope aid might raise.


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