“Madonna once would come in dreams to cheer
My slumbers with angelical delight;
But now she brings foreboding in the night,
Nor can I drive away my grief and fear.
And in her phantom-face I see appear
Her own hurt mixed with pity for my plight,
And I hear words that cry above my fright
That the final term of joy and hope is near.
“Does our last evening not return to you?”
She says, “Your eyes were wet and shining when
For the lateness of the hour I had to flee.
I could not, nor I would not, tell you then,
But now I tell you, it is proved and true;
Never again on Earth you’ll look on me.”
Petrarch, Sonnet 212, from The Canzoniere