Sonnet 1

As when great Jove came down from heaven
To be the guest beneath some mortal roof,
And so that earthy eyes should not be blinded
By his appearance, he took human form,
And thus he came to my modest abode.
Without his royal pomp that shines and blinds
Henry, elect by Fate to such high power
That one word could not hold, nor comprehend -
Although thus in disguise, he touched my heart
With such a ray of his supernatural merit
As quite extinguished all my native vigour,
So that, confiding in such great affection,
He took my image, in enamelled colour
on his departure, with willing heart.

Veronica Franco (1546-1591)


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2012 Selected Poetry
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