Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXVI. Melancholy
Nè per sereno ciel ir vaghe stelle
By Petrarch (Francisco Petrarca) (1304–1374)
Translated by Barbarina, Lady Dacre

NOT skies serene, with glittering stars inlaid,
  Nor gallant ships o’er tranquil ocean dancing,
Nor gay careering knights in arms advancing,
Nor wild herds bounding through the forest glade,
  Nor tidings new of happiness delayed,        5
Nor poesie, Love’s witchery enhancing,
Nor lady’s song beside clear fountain glancing,
In beauty’s pride, with chastity arrayed;
  Nor aught of lovely, aught of gay in show,
Shall touch my heart now cold within her tomb        10
Who was erewhile my life and light below!
  So heavy—tedious—sad—my days unblest,
That I, with strong desire, invoke Death’s gloom,
Her to behold, whom ne’er to have seen were best!

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