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An Interview in Heaven

After Petrarch — Volo con l'ali de’ pensieri al Cielo

So often, in these years, my thoughts take flight
to Heaven, that I seem almost like those who’ve died:
the veil which dulled their sight is torn and cast aside;
they hold their treasure in that greater light.

Sometimes she speaks. ‘Dear friend…’ I hear her say,
(I tremble and turn pale; cold sweat forms on my brow)
‘…know that I honour and I truly love you, now
 your lusts are tempered and your hair is grey.’

She takes me to her Lord; to whom I bow
and humbly beg my Saviour to allow
that I may see their faces. He replies,

‘Your destiny is fixed; and though you may
for twenty — even thirty — years delay
below, it’s but a moment in our eyes.’

Volo con l’ali de’ pensieri al Cielo — Petrarch

Volo con l’ali de’ pensieri al Cielo
sì spesse volte che quasi un di loro
esser mi par ch’ àn ivi il suo tesoro,
lasciando in terra lo squarciato velo.

Talor mi trema ’l cor d’un dolce gelo
udendo lei per ch’ io mi discoloro
dirmi: ‘Amico, or t’am’ io et or t’onoro
perch’ à i costumi variati e ’l pelo.’

Menami al suo Signor; allor m’inchino,
pregando umilemente che consenta
ch’ i’ stia a veder et l’uno et l’altro volto.

Responde: ‘Egli è ben fermo il tuo destino,
et per tardar anchor vent’ anni o trenta
parrà a te troppo, et non fia però molto.’