Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
The Garden of Earthly Love
By Francesco Redi (1626–1697)
 
Translated by Edmund Gosse

OH! ye who follow Virtue, go not there!
  Those meadows are the flowery ways of Love,
  And he who there as Lord and King doth move
Is ever on the watch to trap and snare
The incautious hearts of all the young and fair,        5
  And if those sunny perilous ways ye prove,
  Your soul will flutter like a cagëd dove;
Oh! pause and taste not that perfumëd air!
Those shy white-breasted girls who smile and stand
With flower-bound hair, and singing, hand in hand,        10
  Among the roses, will lay wait for you,
  And clip your wings, and never let you through,
But shut your soul up in a thirsty land,
  And Love will come with them and mock you too.
 
 
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