Sonnet CXXVI.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

In qual parte del cielo, in quale idea.


Say from what part of heaven 'twas Nature drew,
From what idea, that so perfect mould
To form such features, bidding us behold,
In charms below, what she above could do?
What fountain-nymph, what dryad-maid e'er threw
Upon the wind such tresses of pure gold?
What heart such numerous virtues can unfold?
Although the chiefest all my fond hopes slew.
He for celestial charms may look in vain,
Who has not seen my fair one's radiant eyes,
And felt their glances pleasingly beguile.
How Love can heal his wounds, then wound again,
He only knows, who knows how sweet her sighs,
How sweet her converse, and how sweet her smile.


In what celestial sphere--what realm of thought,
Dwelt the bright model from which Nature drew
That fair and beauteous face, in which we view
Her utmost power, on earth, divinely wrought?
What sylvan queen--what nymph by fountain sought,
Upon the breeze such golden tresses threw?
When did such virtues one sole breast imbue?
Though with my death her chief perfection's fraught.
For heavenly beauty he in vain inquires,
Who ne'er beheld her eyes' celestial stain,
Where'er she turns around their brilliant fires:
He knows not how Love wounds, and heals again,
Who knows not how she sweetly smiles, respires
The sweetest sighs, and speaks in sweetest strain!


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