Later Poems

‘I’ mi son pargoletta bella e nova
 
“I’ mi son pargoletta bella e nova,
che son venuta per mostrare altrui
de le bellezze del loco ond’io fui.
 
l’ fui del cielo, e tornerovvi ancora
per dar de la mia luce altrui diletto;                  5
e chi mi vede e non se ne innamora
d’amor non averà mai intelletto
ché non mi fu in piacer alcun disdetto
quando natura mi chiese a Colui
che volle, donne, accompagnarmi a vui.          10
 
Ciascuna stella ne li occhi mi piove
del lume suo e de la sua vertute;
le mie bellezze sono al mondo nove,
però che di là su mi son venuta:
le quai non posson esser canosciute              15
se non da canoscenza d’omo in cui
Amor si metta per piacer altrui.”
 
Queste parole si leggon nel viso
un’angioletta che ci è apparita:
e io che per veder lei mirai fiso,                      20
ne sono a rischio di perder la vita;
però ch’io ricevetti tal ferita
da un ch’io vidi dentro a li occhi sui,
ch’i’ vo piangendo e non m’acchetai pui.
 
 
Perché ti vedi giovinetta e bella
 
Perché ti vedi giovinetta e bella,
tanto che svegli ne la mente Amore,
pres’hai orgoglio e durezza nel core.
 
Orgogliosa se’ fatta e per me dura,
po’ che d’ancider me, lasso, ti prove:              5
credo che ‘l facci per esser sicura
se la vertù d’Amore a morte move.
Ma perché preso più ch’altro mi trove,
non hai respetto alcun del mi’ dolore.
Possi tu spermentar lo suo valore!                 10
 
I Am a Beautiful and Youthful Maiden
 
“I am a beautiful and youthful maiden
come down on earth to show to every mortal
some of the beauty of my native haven.
 
“I am from heaven, where I am returning,
others to please and gladden with my splendor;      5
and he who sees me here and fails to love me
never will comprehend love’s truthful meaning,
for no one did I banish from my liking
when nature asked about me from the very
One who decreed that I’d be with you, ladies.        10
 
“Every star showers into these my glances
some of its light and of its lofty virtue;
your world can hardly recognize my beauty,
which down from heaven has descended on me:
at man alone is privileged to know it,                    15
who, blessed with great discerning wisdom, harbors
Love in his heart to please another person.”
 
These words are clearly read upon the features
of a sweet angel that has flashed before us:
and I, who tried to know her in my rapture,            20
have risked because of it to lose my life,
for so was I that day so gravely wounded
by one I saw within her glances dwelling,
unceasingly I am today still weeping.
 
 
Because You Know You’re Young and Beautiful
 
Because you know you’re young and beautiful,
and can awaken Love within the mind,
you, now conceited, have a heart of stone.
 
Conceited and stone-hearted you are now,
and try—poor me!—to rob me of my life:                 5
but I believe you do it just to prove
if one can truly die from might of Love.
Yet since you find me more than others caught,
you give to all my suffering no thought.
May you yourself know, then, my selfsame lot!      10

Notes:

I Am A Beautiful And Youthful Maiden / (Io mi son pargoletta bella e nova)
 
The identity of the “pargoletta” is uncertain, but she is the same as the one in Chi guarderà già mai sanza paura (Who will be able with no fear at all, see above). This ballad contains the stilnovistic themes found in Tanto gentile.
 
Because You Know You’re Young and Beautiful / (Perché ti vedi giovinetta e bella)
 
This ballatetta, perhaps also written for Lady Stone, wishes that she, too, may soon feel the power of unrequited love, and therefore “die from might of Love.”

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