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Variations on Petrarch's Canzoniere 90.

Variations on Petrarch's Canzoniere 90

   Allegro

   The breeze raised aureoles in her hair,
   A thousand curls all sweet and fair,
   A measureless luminance from her eyes
   (So different now; such scarce supply),
   Whether truly or whether falsely,
   Coloured her face with a woman's pity:
   And I, so burning with desire,
   What wonder that my heart caught fire?
   She did not walk in human wise
   But like an angel in disguise;
   Her words seemed far above the flow
   Of human voices here below;
   The light's long dimmed that round her shone,
   Yet a wound still aches when the weapon's gone.

   Adagio

   Her golden hair undone to the breeze,
   A thousand unkempt knots of it;
   That light without pause flowing from her eyes
   (Where it's now so scarce); and it seemed to me--
   Whether truth or lie I just don't know--
   Her face reflected a tincture of pity.
   Dying to flash and burn with the tire
   Of love, any wonder that I did?
   No other girl came near those fine,
   Simple movements; no other voice came near
   The sort sounds of her voice;
   Yes, she was once a centre of sunlight,
   A woman of dreams; and if not so now,
   Old wounds still ache when their cause is gone.

   Andante

   The breeze made sunbursts of her hair,
   A thousand loops, sweet enterprise;
   The measureless luminance from her eyes
   (Now diminished) had made me dare--
   Whether truly or falsely I cannot swear--
   Find in her cheeks soft pity's dyes;
   And I, who'd felt sparks flash and rise,
   What wonder then love's flames I'd bear?
   She did not walk like a human being,
   But like an angel, and her voice
   Belonged in heaven; how she shone,
   That spirit of sunlight I was seeing.
   Though time dims all (we have no choice),
   Old wounds yet ache when the weapon's gone.

   Allegro appassionato

   Her golden hair was Ioosed to the breeze,
   sweetly curled a thousand times,
   and endless light burned in her eyes,
   where now it's scarce; it seemed to me
   (right or wrong? true or false?)
   her face was touched with tints of pity:
   the heat so smouldering in my breast,
   what wonder that I burst in flames?
   Her walk was not of mortal kind
   but of some angel, and her words
   were free of any human tone:
   celestial spirit, or living sun--
   and if your light must now burn low,
   a wound's not healed by an unstrung bow.

   Molto adagio

   Wild hair, warm eyes, and girlhood's blush--
   a long time past.
   I burned like winter grass near Karkloof.
   Movement for her a shimmer of poplar leaves,
   voice a low murmur of doves in a shady Hilton suburb.
   Briefly illumined once by stained-glass
   in the parish church on a bright Sunday morning;
   whose crystals pierced me years ago,
   but never left my blood-stream.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Gedigte/Poems
Author:Meihuizen, N.T.C.
Publication:Literator
Article Type:Poem
Date:Nov 1, 2005
Words:468
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