To the Lady Pietra degli Scrovigni
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.
translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti