SOURCEBOOK

Petrarch, Sonnet CII.

Petrarch, 1304-1374.

Source Author
Petrarch, Francesco
Source Date
1330

Note: 1330 is an estimate used for the timeline here on the sourcebook. This was produced sometime in the 14th century.

These translations of Petrarch come from the Gutenberg Project.1

SONNET CII.

S' Amor non è, che dunque è quel ch' i' sento?

THE CONTRADICTIONS OF LOVE.

If no love is, O God, what fele I so?
And if love is, what thing and which is he?
If love be gode, from whence cometh my woe?
If it be wicke, a wonder thinketh me
When every torment and adversite
That cometh of him may to me savory thinke:
For aye more thurst I the more that I drinke.
And if that at my owne lust I brenne,
From whence cometh my wailing and my pleinte?
If harme agre me whereto pleine I thenne?
I not nere why unwery that I feinte.
O quickè deth, O surelè harme so quainte,
How may I see in me such quantite,
But if that I consent that so it be?

Chaucer.

If 'tis not love, what is it feel I then?
If 'tis, how strange a thing, sweet powers above!
If love be kind, why does it fatal prove?
If cruel, why so pleasing is the pain?
If 'tis my will to love, why weep, why plain?
If not my will, tears cannot love remove.
O living death! O rapturous pang!—why, love!
If I consent not, canst thou o'er me reign?
If I consent, 'tis wrongfully I mourn:
Thus on a stormy sea my bark is borne
By adverse winds, and with rough tempest tost;
Thus unenlightened, lost in error's maze,
My blind opinion ever dubious strays;
I'm froze by summer, scorched by winter's frost.

Anon. 1777.