by Francesco Petrarca
Translated by Anthony Mortimer
In sleep my distant lady used to come,
consoling me with that angelic air,
but now she brings a sad foreboding there,
nor can the grief and dread be overcome:
for all too often in her face I seem
to see true pity blent with heavy care,
and hear those things that teach the heart despair,
since of all joy and hope it must disarm.
'Does our last evening not come back to you',
she says to me, 'and how your eyes were wet,
and how, compelled by time, I left you then?
'I had no power nor wish to speak of it;
now I can say as something tried and true:
hope not to see me on this earth again.'
Note: A recitation can be heard here.