Sonnet LXIX.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Erano i capei d' oro all' aura sparsi.


Loose to the breeze her golden tresses flow'd
Wildly in thousand mazy ringlets blown,
And from her eyes unconquer'd glances shone,
Those glances now so sparingly bestow'd.
And true or false, meseem'd some signs she show'd
As o'er her cheek soft pity's hue was thrown;
I, whose whole breast with love's soft food was sown,
What wonder if at once my bosom glow'd?
Graceful she moved, with more than mortal mien,
In form an angel: and her accents won
Upon the ear with more than human sound.
A spirit heavenly pure, a living sun,
Was what I saw; and if no more 'twere seen,
T' unbend the bow will never heal the wound.

ANON., OX., 1795.

Her golden tresses on the wind she threw,
Which twisted them in many a beauteous braid;
In her fine eyes the burning glances play'd,
With lovely light, which now they seldom show:
Ah! then it seem'd her face wore pity's hue,
Yet haply fancy my fond sense betray'd;
Nor strange that I, in whose warm heart was laid
Love's fuel, suddenly enkindled grew!
Not like a mortal's did her step appear,
Angelic was her form; her voice, methought,
Pour'd more than human accents on the ear.
A living sun was what my vision caught,
A spirit pure; and though not such still found,
Unbending of the bow ne'er heals the wound.


Her golden tresses to the gale were streaming,
That in a thousand knots did them entwine,
And the sweet rays which now so rarely shine
From her enchanting eyes, were brightly beaming,
And--was it fancy?--o'er that dear face gleaming
Methought I saw Compassion's tint divine;
What marvel that this ardent heart of mine
Blazed swiftly forth, impatient of Love's dreaming?
There was nought mortal in her stately tread
But grace angelic, and her speech awoke
Than human voices a far loftier sound,
A spirit of heaven,--a living sun she broke
Upon my sight;--what if these charms be fled?--
The slackening of the bow heals not the wound.


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