Sonnet III.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Era 'l giorno ch' al sol si scoloraro.


'Twas on the morn, when heaven its blessed ray
In pity to its suffering master veil'd,
First did I, Lady, to your beauty yield,
Of your victorious eyes th' unguarded prey.
Ah! little reck'd I that, on such a day,
Needed against Love's arrows any shield;
And trod, securely trod, the fatal field:
Whence, with the world's, began my heart's dismay.
On every side Love found his victim bare,
And through mine eyes transfix'd my throbbing heart;
Those eyes, which now with constant sorrows flow:
But poor the triumph of his boasted art,
Who thus could pierce a naked youth, nor dare
To you in armour mail'd even to display his bow!


'Twas on the blessed morning when the sun
In pity to our Maker hid his light,
That, unawares, the captive I was won,
Lady, of your bright eyes which chain'd me quite;
That seem'd to me no time against the blows
Of love to make defence, to frame relief:
Secure and unsuspecting, thus my woes
Date their commencement from the common grief.
Love found me feeble then and fenceless all,
Open the way and easy to my heart
Through eyes, where since my sorrows ebb and flow:
But therein was, methinks, his triumph small,
On me, in that weak state, to strike his dart,
Yet hide from you so strong his very bow.


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