Home  »  library  »  poem  »  After Petrarch

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

After Petrarch

By José-Maria de Heredia (1842–1905)

Translation of Maurice Francis Egan

LEAVING the church, with gesture tender, sweet,

Your noble hands throw gold unto the poor;

Your beauty brightens all the porch obscure,

And fills with Heaven’s gold the dazzled street.

Saluting you, I humbly at your feet

Throw down my heart: yet you so proud and pure

Turn quick away; your veil you fast secure

In anger o’er your eyes, mine not to meet!

But love, which conquers hearts that most rebel,

Will not permit me in the gloom to dwell,—

The source of light to me refusing day;

You were so slow to draw the graceful shade

Of tremulous eyelash, which deep shadows made

That from the darkness shot a star’s long ray.