I find the colors of his flesh still fresh,
luminous. It's like looking at a light
gleaming through clear glass--yet to paint what I
see I have to cut myself off from life.
Still Love carved his mark on me long ago
so deeply I yearn, am impelled to write,
while I draw back from the effort. I fear
failure. Others keep away from such things.
I am a shadow, my poems obscurely
lit--as rain and clouds mar the sun, so my
tears, my very breath tarnishes my sun's
radiance. If to love him was bold of
me, to fall silent may be wise--he might
just disdain my frail overreaching words.
|An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition|
V CXVII:117. See also B A2:28:69 and R V:19-20. Parallel texts: Petrarch, Sonnets 20, "Vergognando talo ch'ancor si taccia," and 308, "Quella per cui con Sorga o cangato Arno" (Durling, 54-5, 486-7). Key