To Laura In Death. Sonnet LXXI.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Del cibo onde 'l signor mio sempre abbonda.


Food wherewithal my lord is well supplied,
With tears and grief my weary heart I've fed;
As fears within and paleness o'er me spread,
Oft thinking on its fatal wound and wide:
But in her time with whom no other vied,
Equal or second, to my suffering bed
Comes she to look on whom I almost dread,
And takes her seat in pity by my side.
With that fair hand, so long desired in vain,
She check'd my tears, while at her accents crept
A sweetness to my soul, intense, divine.
"Is this thy wisdom, to parade thy pain?
No longer weep! hast thou not amply wept?
Would that such life were thine as death is mine!"


With grief and tears (my soul's proud sovereign's food)
I ever nourish still my aching heart;
I feel my blanching cheek, and oft I start
As on Love's sharp engraven wound I brood.
But she, who e'er on earth unrivall'd stood,
Flits o'er my couch, when prostrate by his dart
I lie; and there her presence doth impart.
Whilst scarce my eyes dare meet their vision'd good,
With that fair hand in life I so desired,
She stays my eyes' sad tide; her voice's tone
Awakes the balm earth ne'er to man can give:
And thus she speaks:--"Oh! vain hath wisdom fired
The hopeless mourner's breast; no more bemoan,
I am not dead--would thou like me couldst live!"


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