Canzoniere/Poem XXI

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Canzoniere by Petrarch, translator not mentioned
Poem XXI


_Mille fiate, o dolce mia guerrera._


      A thousand times, sweet warrior, have I tried,
    Proffering my heart to thee, some peace to gain
    From those bright eyes, but still, alas! in vain,
    To such low level stoops not thy chaste pride.
    If others seek the love thus thrown aside,
    Vain were their hopes and labours to obtain;
    The heart thou spurnest I alike disdain,
    To thee displeasing, 'tis by me denied.
    But if, discarded thus, it find not thee
    Its joyless exile willing to befriend,
    Alone, untaught at others' will to wend,
    Soon from life's weary burden will it flee.
    How heavy then the guilt to both, but more
    To thee, for thee it did the most adore.


      A thousand times, sweet warrior, to obtain
    Peace with those beauteous eyes I've vainly tried,
    Proffering my heart; but with that lofty pride
    To bend your looks so lowly you refrain:
    Expects a stranger fair that heart to gain,
    In frail, fallacious hopes will she confide:
    It never more to me can be allied;
    Since what you scorn, dear lady, I disdain.
    In its sad exile if no aid you lend
    Banish'd by me; and it can neither stay
    Alone, nor yet another's call obey;
    Its vital course must hasten to its end:
    Ah me, how guilty then we both should prove,
    But guilty you the most, for you it most doth love.