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CANZONE XIII. Se 'l pensier che mi strugge. HE SEEKS IN VAIN TO MITIGATE HIS WOE. Oh! that my cheeks were taughtBy the fond, wasting thoughtTo wear such hues as could its influence speak;Then the dear, scornful fairMight all my ardour share;And where Love slumbers now he might awake!Less oft the hill and meadMy wearied feet should tread;[Pg 115]Less oft, perhaps, these eyes with tears should stream;If she, who cold as snow,With equal fire would glow—She who dissolves me, and converts to flame. Since Love exerts his sway,And bears my sense away,I chant uncouth and inharmonious songs:Nor leaves, nor blossoms show,Nor rind, upon the bough,What is the nature that thereto belongs.Love, and those beauteous eyes,Beneath whose shade he lies,Discover all the heart can comprehend:When vented are my caresIn loud complaints, and tears;These harm myself, and others those offend. Sweet lays of sportive vein,Which help'd me to sustainLove's first assault, the only arms I bore;This flinty breast say whoShall once again subdue,That I with song may soothe me as before?Some power appears to traceWithin me Laura's face,Whispers her name; and straight in verse I striveTo picture her again,But the fond effort's vain:Me of my solace thus doth Fate deprive. E'en as some babe untiesIts tongue in stammering guise,Who cannot speak, yet will not silence keep:So fond words I essay;And listen'd be the layBy my fair foe, ere in the tomb I sleep!But if, of beauty vain,She treats me with disdain;Do thou, O verdant shore, attend my sighs:Let them so freely flow,That all the world may know,My sorrow thou at least didst not despise! [Pg 116]And well art thou aware,That never foot so fairThe soil e'er press'd as that which trod thee late;My sunk soul and worn heartNow seek thee, to impartThe secret griefs that on my passion wait.If on thy margent green,Or 'midst thy flowers, were seenSome traces of her footsteps lingering there.My wearied life 'twould cheer,Bitter'd with many a tear:Ah! now what means are left to soothe my care? Where'er I bend mine eye,What sweet serenityI feel, to think here Laura shone of yore.Each plant and scented bloomI gather, seems to comeFrom where she wander'd on the custom'd shore:Ofttimes in this retreatA fresh and fragrant seatShe found; at least so fancy's vision shows:And never let truth seekTh' illusion dear to break—O spirit blest, from whom such magic flows! To thee, my simple song,No polish doth belong;Thyself art conscious of thy little worth!Solicit not renownThroughout the busy town,But dwell within the shade that gave thee birth. Nott.
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