Charlotte Smith

4 May 1749 – 28 October 1806 / London

Sonnet Xv. From Petrarch

WHERE the green leaves exclude the summer beam,
And softly bend as balmy breezes blow,
And where, with liquid lapse, the lucid stream
Across the fretted rock is heard to flow,
Pensive I lay: when she whom Earth conceals,
As if still living, to my eyes appears,
And pitying Heaven her angel form reveals,
To say--'Unhappy Petrarch, dry your tears:
'Ah! why, sad lover! thus before your time,
In grief and sadness should your life decay,
And like a blighted flower, your manly prime
In vain and hopeless sorrow fade away?
Ah! yield not thus to culpable despair,
But raise thine eyes to Heaven--and think I wait thee there.'
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