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The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 4/Translation from Vittorelli

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TRANSLATION FROM VITTORELLI.

ON A NUN.

Sonnet composed in the name of a father, whose daughter had recently died shortly after her marriage; and addressed to the father of her who had lately taken the veil.

Of two fair virgins, modest, though admired,
Heaven made us happy; and now, wretched sires,
Heaven for a nobler doom their worth desires,
And gazing upon either, both required.


Mine, while the torch of Hymen newly fired
Becomes extinguished,—soon—too soon expires;
But thine, within the closing grate retired,
Eternal captive, to her God aspires.


But thou at least from out the jealous door,
Which shuts between your never-meeting eyes,
May'st hear her sweet and pious voice once more:


I to the marble, where my daughter lies,
Rush,—the swoln flood of bitterness I pour,
And knock, and knock, and knock—but none replies.

[First published, Childe Harold, Canto IV., 1818.]