Love Poems

De gli occhi de la mia donna si move
 
De gli occhi de la mia donna si move
un lume sì gentil, che dove appare
si veggion cose ch’uom non può ritrare
per loro altezza e per lor esser nove:
 
e de’ suoi razzi sovra ‘l meo cor piove         5
tanta paura, che mi fa tremare,
e dicer: “Qui non voglio mai tornare”;
ma poscia perdo tutte le mie prove:
 
e tornomi colà dov’io son vinto,
riconfortando gli occhi paurusi,                  10
che sentiêr prima questo gran valore.
 
Quando son giunto, lasso, ed e’ son chiusi;
lo disio che li mena quivi è stinto:
però proveggia a lo mio stato Amore.
 
 
Ne le man vostre, gentil donna mia
 
Ne le man vostre, gentil donna mia,
raccomando lo spirito che more:
e’ se ne va sì dolente, ch’Amore
lo mira con pietà, che ‘l manda via.
 
Voi lo legaste alla sua signoria,                  5
sì che non ebbe poi alcun valore
di poter lui chiamar se non: “Signore,
qualunque vuol di me, quel vo’ che sia”.
 
Io so che a voi ogni torto dispiace:
però la morte, che non ho servita,              10
molto più m’entra ne lo core amara.
 
Gentil mia donna, mentre ho de la vita,
per tal ch’io mora consolato in pace,
vi piaccia a gli occhi mei non esser cara.
 
My Lady’s Eyes Shine Forth So Dear a Light
 
My lady’s eyes shine forth so dear a light
that, wheresoe’er its gentleness appears,
a world is soon beyond description seen,
such is the wonder of their blissful height.
 
Out of its rays upon my heart rain down                     5
such sudden fears, I tremble, all beset,
saying, “This place I want to see no more;”
but then my resolutions I forget,
 
and come right back where I was vanquished once,
thus giving solace to these frightened eyes,              10
the first to feel the power of her glance.
 
But if her gaze is closed when I am there,
oh, the desire that brought them to her dies:
so may Love take of this my need good care.
 
 
My Gentle Lady, into Those Your Hands
 
My gentle lady, into those your hands
I recommend my spirit that is dying:
so sad is its departure, Love himself,
who bids it leave, is pityingly crying.
 
‘Twas you who bound it to his sovereignty,                 5
so that it afterwards could nothing do
but call on him alone and say, “My Lord,
do now of me whate’er seems best to you.”
 
I know injustice much displeases you:
therefore this death, which I have not yet served,       10
comes to my heart with greater bitterness.
 
My gentle lady, while I still have life,
and so that I at least may die in peace,
delight, I beg you, these my glances less.

Notes:

My Lady’s Eyes Shine Forth So Dear A light / (De gli occhi de la mia donna si move)

This stilnovistic sonnet displays both the miraculous power of the lady’s gaze and the Cavalcantian theme of “such sudden fears, I tremble, all beset,” as well as the “ineffability topos.” (cf. Foster-Boyde)

My Gentle Lady, Into Those Your Hands / (Ne le man vostre, gentil donna mia)

As Contini remarks, it is hard to justify the exclusion of this sonnet from the Vita Nuova. The first two verses are an echo of Luke 23:46 and Psalm 30:6; verse 7 and 8 paraphrase Christ’s words at the Gethsemane (Luke 22:42). The image of Beatrice as typus Christi is very clear.


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