Sonnet XXV.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Quanto più m' avvicino al giorno estremo.


Near and more near as life's last period draws,
Which oft is hurried on by human woe,
I see the passing hours more swiftly flow,
And all my hopes in disappointment close.
And to my heart I say, amidst its throes,
"Not long shall we discourse of love below;
For this my earthly load, like new-fall'n snow
Fast melting, soon shall leave us to repose.
With it will sink in dust each towering hope,
Cherish'd so long within my faithful breast;
No more shall we resent, fear, smile, complain:
Then shall we clearly trace why some are blest,
Through deepest misery raised to Fortune's top,
And why so many sighs so oft are heaved in vain."


The nearer I approach my life's last day,
The certain day that limits human woe,
I better mark, in Time's swift silent flow,
How the fond hopes he brought all pass'd away.
Of love no longer--to myself I say--
We now may commune, for, as virgin snow,
The hard and heavy load we drag below
Dissolves and dies, ere rest in heaven repay.
And prostrate with it must each fair hope lie
Which here beguiled us and betray'd so long,
And joy, grief, fear and pride alike shall cease:
And then too shall we see with clearer eye
How oft we trod in weary ways and wrong,
And why so long in vain we sigh'd for peace.


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