Canzoniere/Poem II

Canzoniere by Petrarch, translator not mentioned
Poem II


Per far una leggiadra sua vendetta


      For many a crime at once to make me smart,
    And a delicious vengeance to obtain,
    Love secretly took up his bow again,
    As one who acts the cunning coward's part;
    My courage had retired within my heart,
    There to defend the pass bright eyes might gain;
    When his dread archery was pour'd amain
    Where blunted erst had fallen every dart.
    Scared at the sudden brisk attack, I found
    Nor time, nor vigour to repel the foe
    With weapons suited to the direful need;
    No kind protection of rough rising ground,
    Where from defeat I might securely speed,
    Which fain I would e'en now, but ah, no method know!


      One sweet and signal vengeance to obtain
    To punish in a day my life's long crime,
    As one who, bent on harm, waits place and time,
    Love craftily took up his bow again.
    My virtue had retired to watch my heart,
    Thence of weak eyes the danger to repell,
    When momently a mortal blow there fell
    Where blunted hitherto dropt every dart.
    And thus, o'erpower'd in that first attack,
    She had nor vigour left enough, nor room
    Even to arm her for my pressing need,
    Nor to the steep and painful mountain back
    To draw me, safe and scathless from that doom,
    Whence, though alas! too weak, she fain had freed.


Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


This work was published before January 1, 1927 and it is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 95 years or less since publication.