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Had seen the beauteous sovereign of my heart,
This face is of some being in the sky,
A semblance true; not one, like us, whose soul
THE SAME SUBJECT.
WHEN Simon first the precious work design,
The senseless form endued with voice and mind!
My sighs less frequent I had joy'd to find,
She bears a countenance to peace inclined:
SENNUCCIO, let me tell thee how, kind friend, I pass my days, and what a life is mine: I burn as I was wont, condemn'd to pine For Laura, and with Passion's force contend; Here proud, here lowly, have I seen her bend On me her eyes; to harshness now incline, And now to pity; and her looks divine, Joyful or sad, to scorn or kindness tend. Here did she sweetly sing; here sate, and here Was seen to turn, or sudden stop: here thrill'd My soul with the bewitching look she gave:
Here spoke, or smiled, as I stood wondering near; Or changed her air-with such reflections fill'd, Love day and night torments his hapless slave.
HIS REASON FOR LOVING LAURA AT THIRTY,
WHEN HER BEAUTY WAS IMPAIRED.
HER golden locks were in the wind display'd,
Still beam'd; though now by Time less vivid made;
That Youth then fired my bosom, can it raise
In any wonder, with such fuel's aid?
'Twas not the motion of a mortal's form,
But something heavenly, and her speech's sound
Unlike to what we hear on earth below.
'Twas some pure spirit; a bright sun, around
Appearing then to beam its influence warm; Nor can it heal the wound to unstring the bow.*
ON PETRARCH'S PICKING UP A GLOVE LAURA
HAD DROPPED AT AN ASSEMBLY, AND WHICH
O BEAUTEOUS hand, that robb'st me of my heart,
This line was chosen, a century afterwards, for his motto, by a king of Naples, on his queen's death. "Le roi Rène apres la mort d'Isabeau de Lorraine, "sa première femme, prit cette devise:
"Un arc turquois avec la corde rompue, et le dernier "vers de ce sonnet :
"Piaga per allentar d'arco non sana.'
MEM. DE PETRARQUE.
Conspicuous, givest to killing fingers grace,
Know, Love consents my eager eyes should trace
Thou snowy, fair embroider'd, graceful glove,
I have possess'd the treasure-yet resign.
A SOLITARY life I ever sought,
(The fields, the woods, and rivers know it well.)
• About the time of Petrarch's birth, his family was driven from Florence by an army of the French under