To make a graceful act of revenge,
and punish a thousand wrongs in a single day,
Love secretly took up his bow again,
like a man who waits the time and place to strike.
My power was constricted in my heart,
making defence there, and in my eyes,
when the mortal blow descended there,
where all other arrows had been blunted.
So, confused by the first assault,
it had no opportunity or strength
to take up arms when they were needed,
or withdraw me shrewdly to the high,
steep hill, out of the torment,
from which it wishes to save me now but cannot.
— From Petrarch’s Rime Sparse / Canzoniere / Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta, trans. Tony Kline
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