Sonnet 131 [I’d sing of Love in such a novel fashion]

I’d sing of Love in such a novel fashion
that from her cruel side I would draw by force
a thousand sighs a day, kindling again
in her cold mind a thousand high desires;

I’d see her lovely face transform quite often
her eyes grow wet and more compassionate,
like one who feels regret, when it’s too late,
for causing someone’s suffering by mistake;

And I’d see scarlet roses in the snows,
tossed by the breeze, discover ivory
that turns to marble those who see it near them;

All this I’d do because I do not mind
my discontentment in this one short life,
but glory rather in my later fame.

From The Poetry of Petrarch by Petrarch, translated by David Young. Translation copyright © 2004 by David Young. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. All rights reserved.