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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII. 1876–79.


On the Tomb of Petrarca

By Benedetto Varchi (1502/3–1565)

Anonymous translation

“YE consecrated marbles, proud and dear,

Blest, that the noblest Tuscan ye infold,

And in your walls his holy ashes hold,

Who, dying, left none greater, none his peer;

Since I, with pious hand, with soul sincere,

Can send on high no costly perfumed fold

Of frankincense, and o’er the sacred mould

Where Petrarch lies no gorgeous altars rear,

O, scorn it not, if humbly I impart

My grateful offering to these lovely shades,

Here bending low in singleness of mind!”

Lilies and violets sprinkling to the wind,

Thus Damon prays, while the bright hills and glades

Murmur, “The gift is small, but rich the heart.”