Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
By Torquato Tasso (1544–1595)
Translated by John Herman Merivale

LOVE, the great master of true eloquence,
  Disdains the tribute of a vulgar tongue.
  Cold are the words, and vain the affected song
Of him whose boasted passion is pretence.
  The favoured few that to his court belong        5
With noblest gifts the mighty god presents;
Their vigorous accents chain the admiring sense,
  And their warm words in torrents stream along.
  Oft too—O wondrous excellence of Love!—
Unuttered vows and sighs and accents broken        10
  With far more force the gentle bosom move
Than smoothest phrase with courtly action spoken.
  E’en Silence oft has found the power to prove
Both word and prayer, when it is true love’s token.

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