Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
Doth Any Maiden Seek
By Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374)
 
Translated by Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Qual donna attende a gloriosa fama

  DOTH any maiden seek the glorious fame
Of chastity, of strength, of courtesy?
Gaze in the eyes of that sweet enemy
Whom all the world doth as my lady name!
  How honour grows, and pure devotion’s flame,        5
How truth is joined with graceful dignity,
There thou may’st learn, and what the path may be
To that high heaven which doth her spirit claim;
  There learn soft speech, beyond all poet’s skill,
And softer silence, and those holy ways        10
Unutterable, untold by human heart.
  But the infinite beauty that all eyes doth fill,
This none can copy! since its lovely rays
Are given by God’s pure grace, and not by art.
 
 
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