Sonnet Found In Laura's Tomb.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Qui reposan quei caste e felice ossa.

Here peaceful sleeps the chaste, the happy shade
Of that pure spirit, which adorn'd this earth:
Pure fame, true beauty, and transcendent worth,
Rude stone! beneath thy rugged breast are laid.
Death sudden snatch'd the dear lamented maid!
Who first to all my tender woes gave birth,
Woes! that estranged my sorrowing soul to mirth,
While full four lustres time completely made.
Sweet plant! that nursed on Avignon's sweet soil,
There bloom'd, there died; when soon the weeping Muse
Threw by the lute, forsook her wonted toil.
Bright spark of beauty, that still fires my breast!
What pitying mortal shall a prayer refuse,
That Heaven may number thee amid the blest?

ANON. 1777.

Here rest the chaste, the dear, the blest remains
Of her most lovely; peerless while on earth:
What late was beauty, spotless honour, worth,
Stern marble, here thy chill embrace retains.
The freshness of the laurel Death disdains;
And hath its root thus wither'd.--Such the dearth
O'ertakes me. Here I bury ease and mirth,
And hope from twenty years of cares and pains.
This happy plant Avignon lonely fed
With Life, and saw it die.--And with it lies
My pen, my verse, my reason;--useless, dead.
O graceful form!--Fire, which consuming flies
Through all my frame!--For blessings on thy head
Oh, may continual prayers to heaven rise!


Here now repose those chaste, those blest remains
Of that most gentle spirit, sole in earth!
Harsh monumental stone, that here confinest
True honour, fame, and beauty, all o'erthrown!
Death has destroy'd that Laurel green, and torn
Its tender roots; and all the noble meed
Of my long warfare, passing (if aright
My melancholy reckoning holds) four lustres.
O happy plant! Avignon's favour'd soil
Has seen thee spring and die;--and here with thee
Thy poet's pen, and muse, and genius lies.
O lovely, beauteous limbs! O vivid fire,
That even in death hast power to melt the soul!
Heaven be thy portion, peace with God on high!


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