To Laura In Death. Sonnet LII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Sente l' aura mia antica, e i dolci colli.


I feel the well-known gale; the hills I spy
So pleasant, whence my fair her being drew,
Which made these eyes, while Heaven was willing, shew
Wishful, and gay; now sad, and never dry.
O feeble hopes! O thoughts of vanity!
Wither'd the grass, the rills of turbid hue;
And void and cheerless is that dwelling too,
In which I live, in which I wish'd to die;
Hoping its mistress might at length afford
Some respite to my woes by plaintive sighs,
And sorrows pour'd from her once-burning eyes.
I've served a cruel and ungrateful lord:
While lived my beauteous flame, my heart be fired;
And o'er its ashes now I weep expired.


Once more, ye balmy gales, I feel you blow;
Again, sweet hills, I mark the morning beams
Gild your green summits; while your silver streams
Through vales of fragrance undulating flow.
But you, ye dreams of bliss, no longer here
Give life and beauty to the glowing scene:
For stern remembrance stands where you have been,
And blasts the verdure of the blooming year.
O Laura! Laura! in the dust with thee,
Would I could find a refuge from despair!
Is this thy boasted triumph. Love, to tear
A heart thy coward malice dares not free;
And bid it live, while every hope is fled,
To weep, among the ashes of the dead?


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