As in the twilight brown, on hillside bare,
Useth to go the little shepherd maid,
Watering some strange fair plant, poorly displayed,
Ill thriving in unwonted soil and air
Far from its native springtime’s genial care;
So on my ready tongue hath Love assayed
In a strange speech to wake new flower and blade,
While I of thee, proud yet so debonair,
Sing songs whose sense is to my people lost–
Yield the fair Thames, and the fair Arno gain.
Love willed it so, and I, at others’ cost,
Already knew Love never willed in vain:
Would my heart slow and bosom hard were found
To him who plants from heaven so fair a ground!
JOHN MILTON (sonetto originale in italiano)