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I' What part of Heaven, or world of beauty, love,

Did Nature find the model of thy face,

Within whose matchless and seraphic grace

She sought to show her power in realms above?

What nymphs in fount—what goddess of the grove

E'er gave such golden tresses to the wind? .

When were such virtues in one heart combined?

Right through my breast the shaft of death they drove.

A beauty so divine none ever knew,

Who never gazed enraptured on thine eyes,

Rolling so sweetly in their liquid blue.

None ever knew the balm of Love—his wiles,

Who never drank the music of thy sighs,

Or thrilled beneath the magic of thy smiles.



The stars, the heavens, the elements combined

Their arts, to make a work where Nature might

Keflect herself more beautiful and bright,

And Sol a purer, holier light might find.

So lofty was the work—so lovely, new,

That mortal ken was blinded by its beams.

For ever in her eyes' cerulean streams,

Shone love, grace, sweetness, beauty, fervor true.

Their rays entranced and purified the air—

Awakened truth—and so divine became,

They baffled speech—love, thought, conception quelled.

No base desire was ever nourished there,

But honor, virtue burned a deathless flame—

And all vile hopes by Beauty's light were thence repelled. IV


Oh, ardent virtue, that my heart enchained!

Oh, gentle soul, my spirit's lofty dome!

Oh, Sun of Purity—my stainless home!

Tower in high Heaven, by Angel-hands sustained!

Oh, flame—oh, roses scattered on sweet flakes

Of snow—a mirror pure wherein I gazed,

And thence to Beauty's face my glances raised—

A holier light than Sol's empyrean lakes!

Could distant regions comprehend my song,

I'd fill the earth with thy celestial name,

Nile and Olympus should the sound prolong:

But since the pinions of my muse are bound,

That lovely land shall echo with thy fame,

Which Apennines divide—and seas and Alps surround. V.


Blessed be that bitter, yet thrice hallowed time,

When Laura's image brought into my heart

A bliss that genius never can impart,

And filled my soul with joy and grief sublime.

Her mien was gentle, and adorned with grace.

Her plaintive lamentations rapt my ear,

And made me doubt if mortal I did hear,

Or some fair one of Heaven's angelic race.

Her locks were gold, her cheeks were living snow,

Her brows were black, her eyes two stars that glowed,

Where love concealed, for ever bent his bow.

Her teeth were pearls, her lips Vermillion hues,

Through wluch her voice like heavenly music flowed.

Her sighs were flame, her tears were crystal dews.



If 'tis not love, what is it that I feel?
But if 'tis love, whence these consuming pangs?
If good, why goad me with these festering fangs?
If ill, why with sweet torment do I reel?
If bliss be mine, whence this eternal strife?
When Laura frowns, lament and tears are vain.
O, living death! O, sweet, delicious pain I
Without consent, why dost thou rule my life?
If I should yield, me torture would o'erwhelm.
Alas! mid adverse winds my fragile bark
Drifts down the doubtful sea without a helm!
No beams from wisdom's star a port proclaim,
But, ignorant of my fate, I brave the dark,
Trembling amid the winter of my flame.

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