Petrarch: Sonnet 2 (From Italian)

Sonnet II
By Petrarch
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the Italian

To wreak a vengeance gentle and sublime,
Punish a thousand wrongs by one day's blow:
Stealth-handed Love once more took up his bow
And, master marksman, found the place and time.

My power retreated to my eyes and heart
To stand ground in that double citadel
Till the relentless, mortal blow befell
That place that blunted every other dart.

It lay thus, heartstruck by that first attack,
With neither space nor strength to stand again
And heed my summons to retaliate

Nor yet a battle plan to draw me back
From torment up to high and safe terrain,
Torment it tries to spare me all too late.



The Original

Sonnet II
Francesco Petrarca

Per fare una leggiadra sua vendetta
et punire in un dí ben mille offese,
celatamente Amor l'arco riprese,
come huom ch'a nocer luogo et tempo aspetta.

Era la mia virtute al cor ristretta
per far ivi et ne gli occhi sue difese,
quando 'l colpo mortal là giú discese
ove solea spuntarsi ogni saetta.

Però, turbata nel primiero assalto,
non ebbe tanto né vigor né spazio
che potesse al bisogno prender l'arme,

ovéro al poggio faticoso et alto
ritrarmi accortamente da lo strazio
del quale oggi vorrebbe, et non pò, aitarme.

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