Francesco-Petrarch-poetOften have I wondered with much curiosity as to our coming into this world and what will follow our departure.
When I was ruminating lately on this matter,
not in any dream as one in sickness and slumber,
but wide awake and with all my wits about me,
I was greatly astonished to behold a very beautiful Lady,
shining with an indescribable light about her.
She seemed as one whose beauty is not known, as it might be,
to mankind I could not tell how she came there, but from her raiment and appearance I judged her a fair virgin,
and her eyes, like the sun, seemed to send forth rays of such light that they made me lower my own before her,
so that I was afraid to look up.
When she saw this she said,
Fear not; and let not the strangeness of my presence affright you in any wise.
I saw your steps had gone astray; and I had compassion on you and have come down from above to bring you timely succor.
Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374)