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

On the Announcement of the Death of Laura

By Petrarch (1304–1374)

“Oimè il bel viso! oimè il soave sguardo!”

Translation of Susan Wollaston

ALAS! that touching glance, that beauteous face!

Alas! that dignity with sweetness fraught!

Alas! that speech which tamed the wildest thought!

That roused the coward, glory to embrace!

Alas! that smile which in me did encase

That fatal dart, whence here I hope for naught.

Oh! hadst thou earlier our regions sought,

The world had then confessed thy sovereign grace!

In thee I breathed; life’s flame was nursed by thee,

For I was thine; and since of thee bereaved,

Each other woe hath lost its venomed sting:

My soul’s blest joy! when last thy voice on me

In music fell, my heart sweet hope conceived;

Alas! thy words have sped on zephyrs’ wing!