To Laura In Death. Sonnet XXXIV.

A poem by Francesco Petrarca

Levommi il mio pensier in parte ov' era.


Fond fancy raised me to the spot, where strays
She, whom I seek but find on earth no more:
There, fairer still and humbler than before,
I saw her, in the third heaven's bless├Ęd maze.
She took me by the hand, and "Thou shalt trace,
If hope not errs," she said, "this happy shore:
I, I am she, thy breast with slights who tore,
And ere its evening closed my day's brief space.
What human heart conceives, my joys exceed;
Thee only I expect, and (what remain
Below) the charms, once objects of thy love."
Why ceased she? Ah! my captive hand why freed?
Such of her soft and hallow'd tones the chain,
From that delightful heaven my soul could scarcely move.


Thither my ecstatic thought had rapt me, where
She dwells, whom still on earth I seek in vain;
And there, with those whom the third heavens contain,
I saw her, much more kind, and much more fair.
My hand she took, and said: "Within this sphere,
If hope deceive me not, thou shalt again
With me reside: who caused thy mortal pain
Am I, and even in summer closed my year.
My bliss no human thought can understand:
Thee only I await; and, that erewhile
You held so dear, the veil I left behind."--
She ceased--ah why? Why did she loose my hand?
For oh! her hallow'd words, her roseate smile
In heaven had well nigh fix'd my ravish'd mind!


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