Laura in Heaven: Letter to Francesco on Earth

My faithful friend, now that I’m with you in the flesh no more,
I’ve read all that you’ve written in my praise. You understand
the reason why I couldn’t grant the joy you hungered for:
another noble gentleman already had my hand.

I’m pleased that, in your scattered rhymes, you didn’t seek to blame
a woman’s heartless cruelty, frigidity or pride
(unlike some other poets of your gender I could name)
if, in response to pesterings unending, she replied

that she had other things to do than satisfying lust,
however nicely phrased. And we’re not cruel, proud or cold;
we quite accept, when Cupid comes to call, needs sometimes must,
and we are glad of that no less than you. Meanwhile, I’m told
you’ve had two children. That is hardly total abstinence!

I’m sorry to have gone so early to the upper air.
Enjoy your life on earth, Francesco; when I parted thence
I had no wish to wound your spirit, deepen your despair.

See the translations of Petrarch in section 6.