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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X. 1876–79.


THe Forest of Ardennes

By Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374)

Translated by R. G. Macgregor

AMID the wildwood’s lone and difficult ways,

Where travel at great risk e’en men in arms,

I pass secure,—for only me alarms

That sun which darts of living love the rays,

Singing fond thoughts in simple lays to her

Whom time and space so little hide from me.

E’en here her form, nor hers alone, I see,

But maids and matrons in each beech and fir.

Methinks I hear her where the bird’s soft moan,

The sighing leaves, I hear, or through the dell

Where its bright lapse some murmuring rill pursues.

Rarely of shadowing wood the silence lone,

The solitary horror, pleased so well,

Except that of my sun too much I lose.