Poems from Petrarch's Canzoniere

Page 8

il mio penser in parte ov'era
quella ch'io cerco, et non ritrovo in terra:
ivi, fra lor che 'l terzo cerchio serra,
la rividi pi bella et meno altera.
Per man mi prese, et disse: - In questa spera
sarai anchor meco, se 'l desir non erra:
i' so' colei che ti die' tanta guerra,
et compie' mia giornata inanzi sera.

Mio ben non cape in intelletto humano:
te solo aspetto, et quel che tanto amasti
e l giuso rimaso, il mio bel velo. -
Deh perch tacque, et allarg la mano?
Ch'al suon de' detti s pietosi et casti
poco manc ch'io non rimasi in cielo.

spirit bore me upward toward the sphere
Where she is now who dwelt on Earth before,
And found her still more beautiful and pure,
And gentler and less proud than she was here.
She took my hand and told me, "Never fear;
If hope fail not, you'll be with me once more;
I am the one who gave you so much war;
Whose day was through before her night drew near.

My bliss no mortal mind can understand;
I wait for you, and what you loved so much,
Which lies below: my lovely mortal guise."
Ah why did she ceased to speak, and drop my hand?
There lacked but little at her words and touch
For me to have remained in Paradise.

Quel rosignol, che s soave piagne,
forse suoi figli, o sua cara consorte,
di dolcezza empie il cielo et le campagne
con tante note s pietose et scorte,
et tutta notte par che m'accompagne,
et mi rammente la mia dura sorte:
ch'altri che me non di ch'i' mi lagne,
ch 'n dee non credev'io regnasse Morte.

O che lieve inganar chi s'assecura!
Que' duo bei lumi assai pi che 'l sol chiari
chi pens mai veder far terra oscura?
Or cognosco io che mia fera ventura
vuol che vivendo et lagrimando impari
come nulla qua gi diletta, et dura.

nightingale, who fills the evening sky
With mournful music by my window late,
Perhaps bewails his fledglings or his mate,
As he pours forth his sweet and lonely cry,
Accompanying my sorrow as I sigh
And recall my harsh and bitter fate,
For which I have my blindness to berate,
Since I believed a goddess could not die.

How lightly duped is the unwary mind!
Those eyes that once outshone the sunlight's glow,
Who would have thought that they could be dark earth?
And now my cruel destiny, I find,
Would have me learn through suffering and woe,
That nothing here below has lasting worth.
I' vo piangendo i miei passati tempi
i quai posi in amar cosa mortale,
senza levarmi a volo, abbiend'io l'ale,
per dar forse di me non bassi exempi.
Tu che vedi i miei mali indegni et empi,
Re del cielo invisibile immortale,
soccorri a l'alma disvata et frale,
e 'l suo defecto di tua gratia adempi:

s che, s'io vissi in guerra et in tempesta,
mora in pace et in porto; et se la stanza
fu vana, almen sia la partita honesta.
A quel poco di viver che m'avanza
et al morir, degni esser Tua man presta:
Tu sai ben che 'n altrui non speranza.

go repenting of the years gone by
In which I chose to love a mortal thing,
So that my spirit has not taken wing,
Having all the while the strength to fly.
You who see my sorrow from on high,
Immortal Lord, unseen almighty king,
Grant me solace for my wondering,
Have mercy on each undeserving sigh;

That if I lived in tempest and in war,
I die in peace, and if my life were vain,
You grant at least the parting may be pure.
To aid my final days I pray you deign,
And at the end escort me to your shore;
You know for me no other hope remains.