To Laura In Death. Sonnet LVII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

L' ultimo, lasso! de' miei giorni allegri.


The last, alas! of my bright days and glad
--Few have been mine in this brief life below--
Had come; I felt my heart as tepid snow,
Presage, perchance, of days both dark and sad.
As one in nerves, and pulse, and spirits bad,
Who of some frequent fever waits the blow,
E'en so I felt--for how could I foreknow
Such near end of the half-joys I have had?
Her beauteous eyes, in heaven now bright and bless'd
With the pure light whence health and life descends,
(Wretched and beggar'd leaving me behind,)
With chaste and soul-lit beams our grief address'd:
"Tarry ye here in peace, beloved friends,
Though here no more, we yet shall there be join'd."


Ah me! the last of all my happy days
(Not many happy days my years can show)
Was come! I felt my heart as turn'd to snow,
Presage, perhaps, that happiness decays!
E'en as the man whose shivering frame betrays,
And fluttering pulse, the ague's coming blow;
'Twas thus I felt!--but could I therefore know
How soon would end the bliss that never stays?
Those eyes that now, in heaven's delicious light,
Drink in pure beams which life and glory rain,
Just as they left mine, blinded, sunk in night,
Seem'd thus to say, sparkling unwonted bright,--
"Awhile, beloved friends, in peace remain,
Oh, we shall yet elsewhere exchange fond looks again!"


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