Imatges de pàgina
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Wert thou the golden tongue to tell
First of this high miracle,
And charm him to thy schools below?
O call thy poets back, if so :*
Back to the state thine exiles call,

Thou greatest fabler of them all

;

Or follow through the self-same gate,

Thou, the founder of the state.

(Hæc monstra si tu primus induxti scholis,)
Jam jam poetas, urbis exules tuæ,
Revocabis, ipse fabulator maximus ;
Aut institutor ipse migrabis foras.

* Whom Plato banished from his imaginary republic.

PETRARCH'S CONTEMPLATIONS OF DEATH

IN THE BOWER OF LAURA.

CLEAR, fresh, and dulcet streams,
Which the fair shape, who seems
To me sole woman, haunted at noon-tide;
Fair bough, so gently fit,
(I sigh to think of it)
Which lent a pillar to her lovely side;
And turf, and flowers bright-eyed,

Chiare, fresche, e dolce acque,

Ove le belle membra

Pose colei, che sola a me par donna ;
Gentil ramo, ove piacque
(Con sospir mi rimembra)
A lei di fare al bel fianco colonna ;

Erba e fior, che la gonna

O'er which her folded gown

Flowed like an angel's down;
And

you, O holy air and hush’d, Where first

my

heart at her sweet glances gush'd ; Give ear, give ear, with one consenting, To my

last words, my last and my lamenting.

If 'tis my fate below,

And heaven will have it so,

Leggiadra ricoverse

Con l'angelico seno;

Aer sacro sereno,

Ove amor co’ begli occhi il cor m'aperse ;

Date udienza insieme

A le dolenti mie parole estreme.

S'egli è

pur

mio destino, E'l cielo in ciò s'adopra,

That love must close these dying eyes in tears,
May my poor dust be laid
In middle of your shade,
While my soul, naked, mounts to it's own spheres.
The thought would calm my fears,
When taking, out of breath,
The doubtful step of death ;
For never could my spirit find
A stiller port after the stormy wind;

Ch'amor quest' occhi lagrimando chiuda;
Qualche grazia il meschino
Corpo fra voi ricopra ;
E torni l'alma al proprio albergo ignuda.

La morte fia men cruda,

Se questa speme porto
A quel dubbioso passo :
Che lo spirito lasso
Non poria mai 'n più riposato porto,

Nor in more calm, abstracted bourne,

Slip from my travailled flesh, and from my bones

outworn.

Perhaps, some future hour,
To her accustomed bower
Might come the untamed, and yet the gentle she;

And where she saw me first,

Might turn with eyes athirst

Nè 'n piu tranquilla fossa
Fuggir la carne travagliata e l'ossa.

Tempo verrà ancor forse,
Ch' a l'usato soggiorno

Torni la fera bella e mansueta ;

E là 'v'ella mi scorse

Nel benedetto giorno

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