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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
To the Princess Leonora When Forbidden by Her Physicians to Sing
By Torquato Tasso (1544–1595)
 
Ahi! ben è reo destin, che invidia e toglie

Translation of Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen

OH! ’tis a merciless decree,
  That to the envied world denies
The sound of that sweet voice which we
  So much admire, so dearly prize!
 
The noble thought and dulcet lay,        5
  Breathing of passions so refined
By Honor’s breath, would drive away
  Sharp sorrow from the gloomiest mind.
 
Yet ’tis enough for our deserts,
  That eyes and smiles so calm and coy        10
Diffuse through our enchanted hearts
  A holy and celestial joy.
 
There would be no more blessed place
  Than this, our spirits to rejoice,
If, as we view thy heavenly face,        15
  We also heard thy heavenly voice!
 
 
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