Sonnet XI.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Se la mia vita dall' aspro tormento.


If o'er each bitter pang, each hidden throe
Sadly triumphant I my years drag on,
Till even the radiance of those eyes is gone,
Lady, which star-like now illume thy brow;
And silver'd are those locks of golden glow,
And wreaths and robes of green aside are thrown,
And from thy cheek those hues of beauty flown,
Which check'd so long the utterance of my woe,
Haply my bolder tongue may then reveal
The bosom'd annals of my heart's fierce fire,
The martyr-throbs that now in night I veil:
And should the chill Time frown on young Desire.
Still, still some late remorse that breast may feel,
And heave a tardy sigh--ere love with life expire.


Lady, if grace to me so long be lent
From love's sharp tyranny and trials keen,
Ere my last days, in life's far vale, are seen,
To know of thy bright eyes the lustre spent,
The fine gold of thy hair with silver sprent,
Neglected the gay wreaths and robes of green,
Pale, too, and thin the face which made me, e'en
'Gainst injury, slow and timid to lament:
Then will I, for such boldness love would give,
Lay bare my secret heart, in martyr's fire
Years, days, and hours that yet has known to live;
And, though the time then suit not fair desire,
At least there may arrive to my long grief,
Too late of tender sighs the poor relief.


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