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

Po (Eridanus), the River

To the River Po, on Quitting Laura

By Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374)

Translated by John Nott

THOU, Po, to distant realms this frame mayst bear,

On thy all-powerful, thy impetuous tide;

But the free spirit that within doth bide

Nor for thy might nor any might doth care:

Not varying here its course, nor shifting there,

Upon the favoring gale it joys to glide;

Plying its wings toward the laurel’s pride,

In spite of sails or oars, of sea or air.

Monarch of floods, magnificent and strong,

That meet’st the sun as he leads on the day,

But in the west dost quit a fairer light;

Thy curvéd course this body wafts along;

My spirit on love’s pinions speeds its way,

And to its darling home directs its flight!