To Laura In Death. Sonnet XII.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Mai non fu' in parte ove sì chiar' vedessi.


Nowhere before could I so well have seen
Her whom my soul most craves since lost to view;
Nowhere in so great freedom could have been
Breathing my amorous lays 'neath skies so blue;
Never with depths of shade so calm and green
A valley found for lover's sigh more true;
Methinks a spot so lovely and serene
Love not in Cyprus nor in Gnidos knew.
All breathes one spell, all prompts and prays that I
Like them should love--the clear sky, the calm hour,
Winds, waters, birds, the green bough, the gay flower--
But thou, beloved, who call'st me from on high,
By the sad memory of thine early fate,
Pray that I hold the world and these sweet snares in hate.


Never till now so clearly have I seen
Her whom my eyes desire, my soul still views;
Never enjoy'd a freedom thus serene;
Ne'er thus to heaven breathed my enamour'd muse,
As in this vale sequester'd, darkly green;
Where my soothed heart its pensive thought pursues,
And nought intrusively may intervene,
And all my sweetly-tender sighs renews.
To Love and meditation, faithful shade,
Receive the breathings of my grateful breast!
Love not in Cyprus found so sweet a nest
As this, by pine and arching laurel made!
The birds, breeze, water, branches, whisper love;
Herb, flower, and verdant path the lay symphonious move.


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