Petrarch — Era il giorno ch’ al sol si scoloraro

It was the day the sun’s rays hid their light
for pity of their maker’s agony.
Lady, your lovely eyes caught hold of me
and I had no defence; they bound me tight.

There seemed no reason, then, to seek relief
from Love’s assault; heedless, I went my way.
Yet I began to suffer, on that day
of public sorrows, my own private grief.

Unarmed Love found me, took me by surprise.
He used, to force a straight way to my heart,
those gates and channels for my tears, my eyes.
He bent his bow to wound me with his dart.

Unchivalrous it was; and to have spared
my lady, who was armoured and prepared.

Listen to this translation — read by Peter Hetherington

Era il giorno ch’ al sol si scoloraro — Petrarch


Era il giorno ch’ al sol si scoloraro
per la pietà del suo fattore i rai,

quando i’ fui preso, et non me ne guardai,

ché i be’ vostr’ occhi, donna, mi legaro.



Tempo non mi parea da far riparo
contr’ a’ colpi d’Amor; però m’andai

secur, senza sospetto, onde i miei guai

nel commune dolor s’incominciaro.



Trovommi Amor del tutto disarmato

et aperta la via per gli occhi al core,
che di lagrime son fatti uscio et varco.



Però al mio parer non li fu onore
ferir me de saetta in quello stato,

a voi armata non mostrar pur l’arco.