Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXVI. Melancholy
Quanta invidia io ti porto
By Petrarch (Francisco Petrarca) (1304–1374)
Translated by Robert Cadell

O EARTH, whose clay-cold mantle shrouds that face
  And veils those eyes that late so brightly shone,
  Whence all that gave delight on Earth was known;
How much I envy thee that harsh embrace!
O Heaven, that in thy airy Courts confin’d        5
  That purest Spirit when from Earth she fled
  And sought the Mansions of the righteous Dead,—
Ah envious, thus to leave my parting Soul behind!
O Angels that in your seraphic Choir
  Receiv’d her Sister-soul, and now enjoy        10
  Still present these Delights without alloy
Which my fond Heart must still in vain desire!
In Her I liv’d; in her my Life decays:—
Yet envious Fate denies to end my hapless days.

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