Sonnet CXVIII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Nom d' atra e tempestosa onda marina.


No wearied mariner to port e'er fled
From the dark billow, when some tempest's nigh,
As from tumultuous gloomy thoughts I fly--
Thoughts by the force of goading passion bred:
Nor wrathful glance of heaven so surely sped
Destruction to man's sight, as does that eye
Within whose bright black orb Love's Deity
Sharpens each dart, and tips with gold its head.
Enthroned in radiance there he sits, not blind,
Quiver'd, and naked, or by shame just veil'd,
A live, not fabled boy, with changeful wing;
Thence unto me he lends instruction kind,
And arts of verse from meaner bards conceal'd,
Thus am I taught whate'er of love I write or sing.


Ne'er from the black and tempest-troubled brine
The weary mariner fair haven sought,
As shelter I from the dark restless thought
Whereto hot wishes spur me and incline:
Nor mortal vision ever light divine
Dazzled, as mine, in their rare splendour caught
Those matchless orbs, with pride and passion fraught,
Where Love aye haunts his darts to gild and fine.
Him, blind no more, but quiver'd, there I view,
Naked, except so far as shame conceals,
A winged boy--no fable--quick and true.
What few perceive he thence to me reveals;
So read I clearly in her eyes' dear light
Whate'er of love I speak, whate'er I write.


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