by Francesco Petrarca
Translated by Anthony Mortimer
For twenty-one long years Love made me burn,
glad in the fire, hopeful in my pain;
my lady took my heart to heaven's domain,
and so he gave me ten more years to mourn;
Now I am weary, and my life I spurn
for so much error that has almost slain
the seed of virtue, and what years remain,
high God, to you devoutly I return,
contrite and sad for every misspent year,
for time I should have put to better use
in seeking peace and shunning passions here.
Lord, having pent me in this prison close,
from everlasting torment draw me clear:
I know my fault and offer no excuse.
Note: A recitation can be heard here.