To Laura In Death. Sonnet LI.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

I dì miei più leggier che nessun cervo.


My days more swiftly than the forest hind
Have fled like shadows, and no pleasure seen
Save for a moment, and few hours serene,
Whose bitter-sweet I treasure in true mind.
O wretched world, unstable, wayward! Blind
Whose hopes in thee alone have centred been;
In thee my heart was captived by her mien
Who bore it with her when she earth rejoin'd:
Her better spirit, now a deathless flower,
And in the highest heaven that still shall be,
Each day inflames me with its beauties more.
Alone, though frailer, fonder every hour,
I muse on her--Now what, and where is she,
And what the lovely veil which here she wore?


Oh! swifter than the hart my life hath fled,
A shadow'd dream; one winged glance hath seen
Its only good; its hours (how few serene!)
The sweet and bitter tide of thought have fed:
Ephemeral world! in pride and sorrow bred,
Who hope in thee, are blind as I have been;
I hoped in thee, and thus my heart's loved queen
Hath borne it mid her nerveless, kindred dead.
Her form decay'd--its beauty still survives,
For in high heaven that soul will ever bloom,
With which each day I more enamour'd grow:
Thus though my locks are blanch'd, my hope revives
In thinking on her home--her soul's high doom:
Alas! how changed the shrine she left below!


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