Sonnet XXXVII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Il mio avversario, in cui veder solete.


My foe, in whom you see your own bright eyes,
Adored by Love and Heaven with honour due,
With beauties not its own enamours you,
Sweeter and happier than in mortal guise.
Me, by its counsel, lady, from your breast,
My chosen cherish'd home, your scorn expell'd
In wretched banishment, perchance not held
Worthy to dwell where you alone should rest.
But were I fasten'd there with strongest keys,
That mirror should not make you, at my cost,
Severe and proud yourself alone to please.
Remember how Narcissus erst was lost!
His course and thine to one conclusion lead,
Of flower so fair though worthless here the mead.


My mirror'd foe reflects, alas! so fair
Those eyes which Heaven and Love have honour'd too!
Yet not his charms thou dost enamour'd view,
But all thine own, and they beyond compare:
O lady! thou hast chased me at its prayer
From thy heart's throne, where I so fondly grew;
O wretched exile! though too well I knew
A reign with thee I were unfit to share.
But were I ever fix'd thy bosom's mate,
A flattering mirror should not me supplant,
And make thee scorn me in thy self-delight;
Thou surely must recall Narcissus' fate,
But if like him thy doom should thee enchant,
What mead were worthy of a flower so bright?


Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'Sonnet XXXVII.' by Francesco Petrarca

comments powered by Disqus