Sonnet XVI.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Quand' io son tutto volto in quella parte.


When I reflect and turn me to that part
Whence my sweet lady beam'd in purest light,
And in my inmost thought remains that light
Which burns me and consumes in every part,
I, who yet dread lest from my heart it part
And see at hand the end of this my light,
Go lonely, like a man deprived of light,
Ignorant where to go; whence to depart.
Thus flee I from the stroke which lays me dead,
Yet flee not with such speed but that desire
Follows, companion of my flight alone.
Silent I go:--but these my words, though dead,
Others would cause to weep--this I desire,
That I may weep and waste myself alone.


When all my mind I turn to the one part
Where sheds my lady's face its beauteous light,
And lingers in my loving thought the light
That burns and racks within me ev'ry part,
I from my heart who fear that it may part,
And see the near end of my single light,
Go, as a blind man, groping without light,
Who knows not where yet presses to depart.
Thus from the blows which ever wish me dead
I flee, but not so swiftly that desire
Ceases to come, as is its wont, with me.
Silent I move: for accents of the dead
Would melt the general age: and I desire
That sighs and tears should only fall from me.


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