Sonnet XXVIII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Solo e pensoso i più deserti campi.


Alone, and lost in thought, the desert glade
Measuring I roam with ling'ring steps and slow;
And still a watchful glance around me throw,
Anxious to shun the print of human tread:
No other means I find, no surer aid
From the world's prying eye to hide my woe:
So well my wild disorder'd gestures show,
And love lorn looks, the fire within me bred,
That well I deem each mountain, wood and plain,
And river knows, what I from man conceal,
What dreary hues my life's fond prospects dim.
Yet whate'er wild or savage paths I've ta'en,
Where'er I wander, love attends me still,
Soft whisp'ring to my soul, and I to him.

ANON., OX., 1795.

Alone, and pensive, near some desert shore,
Far from the haunts of men I love to stray,
And, cautiously, my distant path explore
Where never human footsteps mark'd the way.
Thus from the public gaze I strive to fly,
And to the winds alone my griefs impart;
While in my hollow cheek and haggard eye
Appears the fire that burns my inmost heart.
But ah, in vain to distant scenes I go;
No solitude my troubled thoughts allays.
Methinks e'en things inanimate must know
The flame that on my soul in secret preys;
Whilst Love, unconquer'd, with resistless sway
Still hovers round my path, still meets me on my way.


Alone and pensive, the deserted plain,
With tardy pace and sad, I wander by;
And mine eyes o'er it rove, intent to fly
Where distant shores no trace of man retain;
No help save this I find, some cave to gain
Where never may intrude man's curious eye,
Lest on my brow, a stranger long to joy,
He read the secret fire which makes my pain
For here, methinks, the mountain and the flood,
Valley and forest the strange temper know
Of my sad life conceal'd from others' sight--
Yet where, where shall I find so wild a wood,
A way so rough that there Love cannot go
Communing with me the long day and night?


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