Francesco Petrarch, 1304-1374, Italy.
Through the midst of inhospitable wild woods,
where men at arms go at great risk,
I go safely, since nothing can frighten me
except that sun whose rays are alive with love:
And I go singing (oh, my unwise thoughts!)
of her whom heaven cannot set distant from me,
whom I have in my vision, and seem to see
women and girls with her, and they are beech and fir.
I seem to hear her, hearing the branches and breeze,
and the leaves, and the birds lamenting, and the water
murmuring, running through the green grass.
Rarely did silence, and solitary awesomeness
of shadowy woodland ever please me so:
if only too much of my sunlight were not lost.