To the Lady Pietra degli Scrovigni
by Dante Alighieri
   My curse be on the day when first I saw
      The brightness in those treacherous eyes of thine,-
   The hour when from my heart thou cam'st to draw
      My soul away, that both might fail and pine -
      My curse be on the skill that smooth'd each line
   Of my vain songs, - the music and just law
      Of art, by which it was my dear design
   That the whole world should yield thee love and awe.
   Yea, let me curse mine own obduracy,
      Which firmly holds what doth itself confound -
         To wit, thy fair perverted face of scorn:
         For whose sake Love is oftentimes forsworn
   So that men mock at him; but most at me
      Who would hold fortune's wheel and turn it round.
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translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti