Sonnet CXXXVI.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Pien d' un vago pensier, che me desvia.


Such vain thought as wonted to mislead me
In desert hope, by well-assurèd moan,
Makes me from company to live alone,
In following her whom reason bids me flee.
She fleeth as fast by gentle cruelty;
And after her my heart would fain be gone,
But armèd sighs my way do stop anon,
'Twixt hope and dread locking my liberty;
Yet as I guess, under disdainful brow
One beam of ruth is in her cloudy look:
Which comforteth the mind, that erst for fear shook:
And therewithal bolded I seek the way how
To utter the smart I suffer within;
But such it is, I not how to begin.


Full of a tender thought, which severs me
From all my kind, a lonely musing thing,
From my breast's solitude I sometimes spring,
Still seeking her whom most I ought to flee;
And see her pass though soft, so adverse she,
That my soul spreads for flight a trembling wing:
Of armèd sighs such legions does she bring,
The fair antagonist of Love and me.
Yet from beneath that dark disdainful brow,
Or much I err, one beam of pity flows,
Soothing with partial warmth my heart's distress:
Again my bosom feels its wonted glow!
But when my simple hope I would disclose,
My o'er-fraught faltering tongue the crowded thoughts oppress.


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