Sonnet: Oft on the Recollection Sweet I Dwell by Lorenzo de’ Medici

Oft on the recollection sweet I dwell,
Yea, never from my mind can aught efface
The dress my mistress wore, the time, the place,
Where first she fixed my eyes in rapture’s spell.

How she then looked, thou, Love, rememberest well,
For thou her side hast never ceased to grace,
Her gentle air, her meek, angelic face
The power of language and of thought excel.

As o’er the mountain peaks deep-clad in snow
Apollo pours a flood of golden light,
So down her snowy vesture streamed her hair:

The time and place how vain it were to show!
It must be day where shines a sun so bright,
And paradise where dwells a form so fair.

From: Strong, Charles (ed. and transl.), Specimens of Sonnets from the Most Celebrated Italian Poets; with Translations, 1827, John Murray: London, p. 11.

Date: c1480 (original in Italian); 1827 (translation in English)

By: Lorenzo de’ Medici (1449-1492)

Translated by: Charles Strong (1785-1864)

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