By Richard Vallance Janke

Richard Vallance, trans. Francesco Petrarch, "Canzoniere", Sonnet I

"Canzoniere" (Songs), Sonnet I


I know you'll hear the rhymes I've sown in sound
that nourished long ago a young man's heart
when error was my spirit's sighing part,
before I found myself with valour crowned.

A poet, though I grieve and hope in vain,
I pray for mercy I may never lose
some reasoned balance in the style I choose
to reverence my verses with love's pain.

Though they may seem but fleeting tales to you,
Italians, past and present, to my shame
must I myself and all my sonnets rue?

Delirium I harvest, is it true
my soul's repentence finds no cause for blame
for our earthly dreams though my life is through?

© by Richard Vallance 2004

November 18 2004

Canzoniere, Sonetto I

Voi ch'ascoltate in rime sparse il suono
di quei sospiri ond'io nudriva 'l core
in sul mio primo giovenile errore
quand'era in parte altr'uom da quel ch'i' sono,

del vario stile in ch'io piango e ragiono
fra le vane speranze e 'l van dolore,
ove sia chi per prova intenda amore,
spero trovar pietà, nonché perdono.

Ma ben veggio or sì come al popol tutto
favola fui gran tempo, onde sovente
di me medesmo meco mi vergogno;

e del mio vaneggiar vergogna è 'l frutto,
e 'l pentersi, e 'l conoscer chiaramente
che quanto piace al mondo è breve sogno.

Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374)

Richard Vallance, "Sonnet I"
© 1998 & 1999 by Richard Vallance July, 1998

Richard can be contacted at

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Some brief bio info:   Richard Vallance, Canadian poet, sonneteer & poetry critic.

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