Sonnet IX.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Quando 'l pianeta che distingue l' ore.


When the great planet which directs the hours
To dwell with Taurus from the North is borne,
Such virtue rays from each enkindled horn,
Rare beauty instantly all nature dowers;
Nor this alone, which meets our sight, that flowers
Richly the upland and the vale adorn,
But Earth's cold womb, else lustreless and lorn,
Is quick and warm with vivifying powers,
Till herbs and fruits, like these I send, are rife.
--So she, a sun amid her fellow fair,
Shedding the rays of her bright eyes on me,
Thoughts, acts, and words of love wakes into life--
But, ah! for me is no new Spring, nor e'er,
Smile they on whom she will, again can be.


When Taurus in his house doth Phoebus keep,
There pours so bright a virtue from his crest
That Nature wakes, and stands in beauty drest,
The flow'ring meadows start with joy from sleep:
Nor they alone rejoice--earth's bosom deep
(Though not one beam illumes her night of rest)
Responsive smiles, and from her fruitful breast
Gives forth her treasures for her sons to reap.
Thus she, who dwells amid her sex a sun,
Shedding upon my soul her eyes' full light,
Each thought creates, each deed, each word of love:
But though my heart's proud mastery she hath won
Alas! within me dwells eternal night:
My spirit ne'er Spring's genial breath doth prove.


Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'Sonnet IX.' by Francesco Petrarca

comments powered by Disqus