Canzone LXVI


The heavy air and the untimely fog,
Concentrated and pressed by raging winds,
Will soon fall upon us turned into rain;
And now almost of crystal seem the rivers,
And instead of small grass throughout the valleys
One sees nothing but hoary frost and ice.

And in my heart that grows colder than ice
I have amassed from heavy thoughts a fog
Such as will rise at times out of these valleys
Gathered and closed against the loving winds
And all encircled by stagnating rivers,
When from the sky slowly descends the rain.

In a small time is gone the greatest rain,
And the heat melts away the snows and ice,
Whence full of pride appear the flowing rivers;
The sky never concealed so thick a fog
That, overreached by the wrath of the winds,
Did not hurriedly run from hills and valleys.

But not for me, alas, the blooming valleys;
I must weep in the sun and in the rain,
Under the frozen and the gentle winds;
For my lady will be left without ice
Inside and free outside from the old fog,
When I behold dry seas and lakes and rivers.

But till toward the sea flow down the rivers
And the beasts love the shadows of the valleys,
There will remain before her eyes that fog
Which distils out of mine an endless rain,
And in the charming breast the hardened ice
That draws out of my own such woeful winds.

I must nevertheless forgive the winds,
For love of one who once between two rivers
Placed me amid the green and the sweet ice,
So that I painted in a thousand valleys
The shadow where I was; nor heat, nor rain,
Nor sound I heeded of a broken fog.

But never did fog flee before the winds
As on that day, nor rivers under rain,
Nor ice, when the sunlight opens the valleys.

Francesco Petrarca



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