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



By Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374)

Petrarch’s Sonnets on Vaucluse. II.
Translated by R. G. Macgregor

NOWHERE before could I so well have seen

Her whom my soul most craves since lost to view;

Nowhere in so great freedom could have been

Breathing my amorous lays ’neath skies so blue;

Never with depths of shade so calm and green

A valley found for lover’s sigh more true;

Methinks a spot so lovely and serene

Love not in Cyprus nor in Gnidos knew.

All breathes one spell, all prompts and prays that I

Like them should love,—the clear sky, the calm hour,

Winds, waters, birds, the green bough, the gay flower,—

But thou, beloved, who call’st me from on high,

By the sad memory of thine early fate,

Pray that I hold the world and these sweet snares in hate.