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“A PRAYSE OF PETRARCKE, AND OF LAURA HIS LADIE, FROM
SONGS AND SONNETS OF UNCERTAINE AUTHORS, SUBJOINED TO THE POEMS OF HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY, AND SIR THOMAS WIAT THE ELDER, 1557."
O PETRARCKE, hed and prince of poets, al
Whose lively gift of flowing eloquence
Wel may we seke, but find not how, or whence,
Be to thy name, and to her excellence,
Whose beauty lighted in thy time and sence,
Ne why our time forth bringeth beauty such ?
To trye our wittes as golde is by the touche,
But there was never Laura more than one,
“Non d'atra, e tempestosa onda marina,"
No wearied mariner to port e'er fled
From the dark billows, when some tempest's nigh,
Thoughts by the force of goading passion bred : Nor wrathful glance of heaven so surely sped
Destruction to man's sight; as does that eye,
Within whose bright black orb Love's deity Sharpens each dart, and tips with gold its head. Enthroned in radiance there he sits, not blind,
Quivered and naked, or by shame just veiled,
A live, not fabled boy, with changeful wing; Thus ever unto me he lends instruction kind,
And arts of verse from meaner bards concealed : Thus am I taught whate'er of love I write or sing.
"In qual parte del Cielo', in quale idea,"
Say from what part of heaven 'twas Nature drew,
From what idea, that so perfect mould
To form such features, bidding us behold,
Upon the wind such tresses of pure gold?
Although the chiefest, all my fond hopes slew.
Who has not seen my fair one's radiant eyes,
And felt their glances pleasingly beguile. How love can heal his wounds, then wounds again
He only knows, who knows how sweet her sighs, How sweet her converse, and how sweet her smile.
“ Solo, e pensoso i più deserti campi,"
ALONE, and lost in thought, the desert glade
Measuring I roam with lingering steps and slow; And still a watchful glance around me throw;
Anxious to shun the print of human tread:
From the world's prying eye to hide my woe:
And love-lorn looks, the fire within me bred, That well I deem each mountain, wood and plain,
And river knows, what I from man conceal,
What dreary hues my life's sad prospects dim. Yet whate'er wild or savage paths I've ta’en,
Where'er I wander, love attends me stil, Soft whispering to my soul, and I to him.
“ Erano i capei d'oro all' aura sparsi,"
Her golden tresses on the wind she threw,
Which twisted them in many a beauteous braid ; And in her fine eyes burning glances played,
With lovely light, which now they seldom shew : Ah! then it seemed her face wore pity's hue,
Yet haply fancy my fond sense betrayed ;
Love's fuel, suddenly enkindled grew!
Angelic was her form; her voice, methought,
Poured more than human accents on the ear. A living sun was what my vision caught,
A spirit pure; and though not such, still found, Unbending of the bow ne'er heals the wound.
“Quel vago impallidir che 'l dolce riso,"
The pallid tint of loveliness, which threw
A tender cloud upon her smiling face,
That in my looks that heart to meet it flew;
Each other, I perceived ; even so took place
Save me, whose gaze no other object knew.
The mildest manners female love could show,
Compared with what I sing might scorn appear :
And silently she said or seemed to say,
"L'aura soave, ch'al sol spiega, e vibra.”
The pleasant gale that to the Sun unplaits
And spreads the gold Love's fingers weave and braid O'er her fine eyes, and all around her head,
Fetters my heart, the wishful sigh creates :
Approaching my fair arbiter with dread,
Whether or death or life on me awaits :
And on those shoulders shine such wreaths of hair,
Whose witching tangles my poor heart ensnare, But how the magic's wrought I cannot say ;
For twofold radiance doth my reason blind, And sweetness to excess palls, and o'erpowers my mind.
" O bella man che mi distringi 'l core,"
O BEAUteous hand, that dost my heart subdue,
And in a little space my life confine ;
Nature and Heaven their plastic powers to show!
To my wounds only cruel, fingers fine:
For once permits ye naked to our view.
Encasing iv'ry tinted with the rose;
More precious covering ne'er met mortal sight! Would I such portion of thy veil had gained,
O fleeting gifts which fortune's hand bestows! 'Tis justice to restore what theft alone obtained.
“ S'una fede amorosa, un cor non finto,"
If faith impassioned, and a heart sincere ;
If tender languishment, and chaste desire :
And wandering long through passion's maze with fear ; If on the brow each thought be pictured clear;
If words half uttered from the tongue retire,
If on the cheeks the violet's hue to wear;
If constantly to weep, as much to sigh,
Nursing the pangs, the griefs, the wrath of love; To burn when distant and to freeze when nigh:
If such fond causes doom me to despair, Though death be mine, thine is the guilt, my fair. * On the glove of Laura, which he had picked up, and would have detained, but she with some vivacity took it from him.