Sufficient to itself, its own reward;
And if my eyes revealed it, they, alas!
Were punished by the silentness of thine,
And yet I did not venture to repine.
Thou wert to me a crystal-girded shrine,
Worshipped at holy distance, and around130
Hallowed and meekly kissed the saintly ground;
Not for thou wert a Princess, but that Love
Had robed thee with a glory, and arrayed
Thy lineaments in beauty that dismayed—
Oh! not dismayed—but awed, like One above!
And in that sweet severity there was
A something which all softness did surpass—
I know not how—thy Genius mastered mine—
My Star stood still before thee:—if it were
Presumptuous thus to love without design,140
That sad fatality hath cost me dear;
But thou art dearest still, and I should be
Fit for this cell, which wrongs me—but for thee.
The very love which locked me to my chain
Hath lightened half its weight; and for the rest,
Though heavy, lent me vigour to sustain,
And look to thee with undivided breast,
And foil the ingenuity of Pain.
It is no marvel—from my very birth
My soul was drunk with Love,—which did pervade150
And mingle with whate'er I saw on earth:
Of objects all inanimate I made
- [Compare the following lines from the canzone entitled, "La Prima di Tre Sorelle Scritte a Madama Leonora d'Este... 1567:"—
"E certo il primo dl che'l bel sereno
Della tua fronte agli occhi miei s'offerse
E vidi armato spaziarvi Amore,
Se non che riverenza allor converse,
E Meraviglia in fredda selce il seno,
Ivi pería con doppia morte il core;
Ma parte degli strali, e dell' ardore
Sentii pur anco entro 'l gelato marmo."]