To Laura In Death. Sonnet LXXXII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Dicemi spesso il mio fidato speglio.


My faithful mirror oft to me has told--
My weary spirit and my shrivell'd skin
My failing powers to prove it all begin--
"Deceive thyself no longer, thou art old."
Man is in all by Nature best controll'd,
And if with her we struggle, time creeps in;
At the sad truth, on fire as waters win,
A long and heavy sleep is off me roll'd;
And I see clearly our vain life depart,
That more than once our being cannot be:
Her voice sounds ever in my inmost heart.
Who now from her fair earthly frame is free:
She walk'd the world so peerless and alone,
Its fame and lustre all with her are flown.


The mirror'd friend--my changing form hath read.
My every power's incipient decay--
My wearied soul--alike, in warning say
"Thyself no more deceive, thy youth hath fled."
'Tis ever best to be by Nature led,
We strive with her, and Death makes us his prey;
At that dread thought, as flames the waters stay,
The dream is gone my life hath sadly fed.
I wake to feel how soon existence flies:
Once known, 'tis gone, and never to return.
Still vibrates in my heart the thrilling tone
Of her, who now her beauteous shrine defies:
But she, who here to rival, none could learn,
Hath robb'd her sex, and with its fame hath flown.


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