Sonnet XLIV.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Mie venture al venir son tarde e pigre.


Ever my hap is slack and slow in coming,
Desire increasing, ay my hope uncertain
With doubtful love, that but increaseth pain;
For, tiger-like, so swift it is in parting.
Alas! the snow black shall it be and scalding,
The sea waterless, and fish upon the mountain,
The Thames shall back return into his fountain,
And where he rose the sun shall take [his] lodging,
Ere I in this find peace or quietness;
Or that Love, or my Lady, right wisely,
Leave to conspire against me wrongfully.
And if I have, after such bitterness,
One drop of sweet, my mouth is out of taste,
That all my trust and travail is but waste.


Late to arrive my fortunes are and slow--
Hopes are unsure, desires ascend and swell,
Suspense, expectancy in me rebel--
But swifter to depart than tigers go.
Tepid and dark shall be the cold pure snow,
The ocean dry, its fish on mountains dwell,
The sun set in the East, by that old well
Alike whence Tigris and Euphrates flow,
Ere in this strife I peace or truce shall find,
Ere Love or Laura practise kinder ways,
Sworn friends, against me wrongfully combined.
After such bitters, if some sweet allays,
Balk'd by long fasts my palate spurns the fare,
Sole grace from them that falleth to my share.


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