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

He Extols the Beauty and Virtue of Laura

By Petrarch (1304–1374)

“In qual parte del cielo, in quale idea”

Translation of John Nott

SAY from what part of heaven ’twas Nature drew,

From what idea, that so perfect mold

To form such features, bidding us behold,

In charms below, what she above could do?

What fountain nymph, what dryad maid e’er threw

Upon the wind such tresses of pure gold?

What heart such numerous virtues can unfold?

Although the chiefest all my fond hopes slew.

He for celestial charms may look in vain

Who has not seen my fair one’s radiant eyes,

And felt their glances pleasingly beguile.

How Love can heal his wounds, then wound again,

He only knows who knows how sweet her sighs,

How sweet her converse, and how sweet her smile.