Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
Mors et Vita
By Jacopo Sannazzaro (1458–1530)
Translated by James Glassford, of Dougalston

ALAS! when I behold this empty show
  Of life, and think how soon it shall have fled;
  When I consider how the honoured head
  Is daily struck by death’s mysterious blow,—
My heart is wasted like the melting snow,        5
  And hope, that comforter, is nearly dead;
  Seeing these wings have been so long outspread,
  And yet so sluggish is my flight and low.
But if I therefore should complain and weep,—
  If chide with love, or fortune, or the fair,—        10
  No cause I have; myself must bear it all,
Who, like a man ’mid trifles lulled to sleep,
  With death beside me, feed on empty air,
Nor think how soon this mouldering garb must fall.

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