Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
Oft Have We Heard
By Torquato Tasso (1544–1595)
Translated by John Hoole
Se d’ Icara leggesti

OFT have we heard, in Po’s imperial tide
  How hapless Phaëton was headlong thrown,
Who durst aspire the sun’s bright steeds to guide,
  And wreathe his brows with splendours not his own!
Oft have we heard, how ’midst the Icarian main        5
  Fell the rash youth who tried too bold a flight;—
Thus shall it fare with him, who seeks in vain
  On mortal wings to reach the empyreal height.
But who, inspired by love, can dangers fear?
What cannot Love that guides the rolling sphere,—        10
  Whose powerful magic earth and heaven controls?
Love brought Diana from the starry sky,
Smit with the beauties of a mortal eye;
  Love snatched the boy of Ida to the poles.

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