Apollo, s'anchor vive il bel desio

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Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

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Text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Apollo, s'anchor vive il bel desio
che t'infiammava a le thesaliche onde,
et se non ài l'amate chiome bionde,
volgendo gli anni, già poste in oblio:

dal pigro gielo et dal tempo aspro et rio,
che dura quanto 'l tuo viso s'asconde,
difendi or l'onorata et sacra fronde,
ove tu prima, et poi fu' invescato io;

et per vertú de l'amorosa speme,
che ti sostenne ne la vita acerba,
di queste impressïon l'aere disgombra;

sí vedrem poi per meraviglia inseme
seder la donna nostra sopra l'erba,
et far de le sue braccia a se stessa ombra.

Canzoniere 34

English.png English translation

Apollo, if that sweet desire is still alive
that inflamed you by the river of Thessaly,
and if with the passing years you've not already
forgotten that beloved blonde hair:

defend the honoured and sacred leaves now,
where you long ago, and I lately, were caught,
through the slow frost and harsh and cruel time
that is endured while you hide your face:

and by the power of that amorous hope
that sustained you, though life was bitter,
disburden the air of this dark weather:

so we may see by a miracle together
our lady seated on the grass
lifting her arms to make herself a shade.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline ©

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