A PIE' DE' COLLI ... AT THE FOOT OF THE HILL ...
Francesco Petrarcatr. A. S. Kline
A pie' de' colli ove la bella vesta
Prese de le terrene membra pria
La donna che colui ch'a te n'envia
Spesso dal sonno lagrimando desta,

Libere in pace passavam per questa
Vita mortal, ch'ogni animal desia,
Senza sospetto di trovar fra via
Cosa ch'al nostr'andar fosse molesta.

Ma del misero stato ove noi semo
Condotte da la vita altra serena,
Un sol conforto, e de la morte, avemo:

Che vendetta è di lui ch'a ciò ne mena,
Lo qual in forza altrui, presso a l'estremo,
Riman legato con maggior catena.
At the foot of the hill where beautyís garment
first clothed that lady with earthly members,
who has often sent wakefulness to him,
who sends us to you, out of melancholy sleep,

we passed by freely in peace through this
mortal life, that all creatures yearn for,
without suspicion of finding, on the way,
anything that would trouble our going.

But in the miserable state where we are
driven from that other serene life
we have one solace only, that is death:

which is his retribution, who led him to this,
he who, in anotherís power, near to the end,
remains bound with a heavier chain.

Trans. Copyright © A. S. Kline 2003


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