Poems of Correspondence

Sonetto, se Meuccio t’č mostrato
 
Sonetto, se Meuccio t’č mostrato,
cosė tosto ‘l saluta come ‘l vedi,
e ‘ va’ correndo e gittaliti a’ piedi,
sė che tu paie bene accostumato.
 
E quando se’ con lui un poco stato,            5
anche ‘l risalutrai, non ti ricredi;
e poscia a l’ambasciata tua procedi,
ma fa’ che ‘l tragghe prima da un lato;
 
e di’: “Meuccio, que’ che t’ama assai
de le sue gioie pių care ti manda,               10
per accontarsi al tu’ coraggio bono”.
 
Ma fa’ che prenda per lo primo dono
questi tuo’ frati, e a lor sė comanda
che stean con lui e qua non tornin mai.
 
To Meuccio
 
As soon as he is introduced to you,
you must, O sonnet, dear Meuccio greet:
run toward him, throw yourself quick at his feet,
and your good manners show to those in view.
 
After you have a short while been with him,               5
greet him again, and never change your mind;
remembering then your message, try to find
a way to take him gracefully aside,
 
and say, “Meuccio, he who loves you so,
sends you the dearest jewels that he owns,              10
and recommends himself to your brave soul.
 
But, first of all, accept this other gift—
these mates of yours: oh, order them to be
always with you, and ne’er come back to me.

Notes:

As Soon As He Is Introduced to You / (Sonetto, se Meuccio t’č mostrato)

A poem of Dante’s youth sent to Meuzzo Tolomei da Siena. We do not know exactly which poems Dante is referring to when he says “the dearest jewels” and “these mates of yours.” Meuccio received a poem from Cino da Pistoia also, entitled “Meuccio i’ feci una vista d’amante.”


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