Laura, by Petrarch

Sonnet 123.

1’ vidi in terra angelici costumi.

The Effects of her Grief.

On earth reveal’d the beauties of the skies,

Angelic features, it was mine to hail;

Features, which wake my mingled joy and wail,

While all besides like dreams or shadows flies.

And fill’d with tears I saw those two bright eyes,

Which oft have turn’d the sun with envy pale;

And from those lips I heard—oh! such a tale,

As might awake brute Nature’s sympathies!

Wit, pity, excellence, and grief, and love

With blended plaint so sweet a concert made,

As ne’er was given to mortal ear to prove:

And heaven itself such mute attention paid,

That not a breath disturb’d the listening grove—

Even æther’s wildest gales the tuneful charm obey’d.


Yes, I beheld on earth angelic grace,

And charms divine which mortals rarely see,

Such as both glad and pain the memory;

Vain, light, unreal is all else I trace:

Tears I saw shower’d from those fine eyes apace,

Of which the sun ofttimes might envious be;

Accents I heard sigh’d forth so movingly,

As to stay floods, or mountains to displace.

Love and good sense, firmness, with pity join’d

And wailful grief, a sweeter concert made

Than ever yet was pour’d on human ear:

And heaven unto the music so inclined,

That not a leaf was seen to stir the shade;

Such melody had fraught the winds, the atmosphere.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59