"Monna Innominata" Sonnets i-iii by Christina Rossetti
dì che han detto a' dolci amici addio.' Dante
'Amor, con quanto sforzo oggi mi vinci!' Petrarca
Come back to me, who wait and watch for you:
Or come not yet, for it is over then,
And long it is before
you come again,
So far between my pleasures are and few.
While, when you come not, what I do I do
'Now when he comes,' my sweetest 'when?:'
For one man is my world of all the men
This wide world holds; O
love, my world is you.
Howbeit, to meet you grows almost a pang
Because the pang of parting comes so
My hope hangs waning, waxing like a moon
Between the heavenly days on which we meet:
but where are now the songs I sang
When life was sweet because you called them sweet?
già l'oa che volge il desio.' Dante
'Ricorro al tempo ch'io vi vidi prima.' Petrarca
I wish I could remember, that first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
If bright or dim the
season, it might be
Summer or Winter for aught that I can say;
So unrecorded did it slip away,
was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom yet for many
If only I could recollect it, such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone
It seemed to me so little, meant so much;
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in
handDid one but know!
ombre vane, fuor che ne l'aspetto!' Dante
'Immaginata guida la conduce.' Petrarca
I dream of you to wake: would that I might
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Dream of you and not wake but slumber on;
Nor find with dreams
the dear companion gone,
As Summer ended Summer birds take flight.
In happy dreams I hold you full in
I blush again who waking look so wan;
Brighter than sunniest day that ever shone,
In happy dreams
your smile makes day of night.
Thus only in a dream we are at one,
The faith that maketh rich who take
If thus to sleep is sweeter than to wake,
To die were surely sweeter than to live,
Though there be
nothing new beneath the sun.