In qual parte del cielo, in quale idea
era l’esempio, onde natura tolse
quel bel viso leggiadro, in ch’ ella volse
mostrar qua giù quanto lassù potea ?
qual ninfa in fonti, in selve mai qual dea
chiome d’ oro si fino a l’ aura sciolse ?
quando un cor tante in se vertuti accolse ?
benchè la somma è di mia morte rea.

Per divina bellezza indarno mira,
chi gli occhi de costei già mai non vide,
come soavemente ella gli gira.
Non sa come Amor sana e come ancide
chi non sa come dolce ella sospira,
e come dolce parla e dolce ride.

~ Poetic translation ~

In what celestial sphere, by whom inspired,
Did Nature find the cast from which she drew
This lovely face wherein she hath aspired
To manifest below what Heaven can do?
Upon the breeze these tresses of pure gold
What goddess of the woods, what water-fay
Hath lavished thus ? What other heart could hold
These virtues which have made my life their prey?

Of godly beauty he is unaware
Who hath not gazed into my Lady’s eyes,
Nor gathered her sweet glances here on earth;
He knoweth not Love’s Hell nor Paradise
Who never heard her sighs as light as air,
The gentle music of her speech and mirth.

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