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

The Death-Bed of Laura

By Petrarch (1304–1374)

Translation of Barbarina, Lady Dacre

NO power of darkness, with ill influence, dared

Within a space so holy to intrude,

Till Death his terrible triumph had declared.

Then hushed was all lament, all fear subdued;

Each on those beauteous features gazed intent,

And from despair was armed with fortitude.

As a pure flame that not by force is spent,

But faint and fainter softly dies away

Passed gently forth in peace the soul, content;

And as a light of clear and steady ray.

When fails the source from which its brightness flows,

She to the last held on her wonted way.

Pale, was she? no; but white as shrouding snows,

That, when the winds are lulled, fall silently,

She seemed as one o’erwearied to repose.

E’en as in balmy slumbers lapt to lie

(The spirit parted from the form below),

In her appeared what th’ unwise term to die;

And Death sate beauteous on her beauteous brow.