Sonnet CXXXI.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Or che 'l ciel e la terra e 'l vento tace.


O'er earth and sky her lone watch silence keeps,
And bird and beast in stirless slumber lie,
Her starry chariot Night conducts on high,
And in its bed the waveless ocean sleeps.
I wake, muse, burn, and weep; of all my pain
The one sweet cause appears before me still;
War is my lot, which grief and anger fill,
And thinking but of her some rest I gain.
Thus from one bright and living fountain flows
The bitter and the sweet on which I feed;
One hand alone can harm me or can heal:
And thus my martyrdom no limit knows,
A thousand deaths and lives each day I feel,
So distant are the paths to peace which lead.


'Tis now the hour when midnight silence reigns
O'er earth and sea, and whispering Zephyr dies
Within his rocky cell; and Morpheus chains
Each beast that roams the wood, and bird that wings the skies.
More blest those rangers of the earth and air,
Whom night awhile relieves from toil and pain;
Condemn'd to tears and sighs, and wasting care.
To me the circling sun descends in vain!
Ah me! that mingling miseries and joys,
Too near allied, from one sad fountain flow!
The magic hand that comforts and annoys
Can hope, and fell despair, and life, and death bestow!
Too great the bliss to find in death relief:
Fate has not yet fill'd up the measure of my grief.


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