Love Poems

Non mi poriano già mai fare ammenda
 
Non mi poriano già mai fare ammenda
del lor gran fallo gli occhi miei, sed elli 
non s’accecasser, poi la Garisenda
torre miraro co’ risguardi belli,
 
e non conobber quella (mal lor prenda!)     5
ché la maggior de la qual si favelli:
però ciascun di lor vòi che m’intenda
che già mai pace non farò con elli;
 
poi tanto furo, che ciò che sentire
doveano a ragion senza veduta,              10
non conobber vedendo; onde dolenti
 
son li miei spirti per lo lor fallire,
e dico ben, se ‘l voler non mi muta,
ch’eo stesso li uccidrò que’ scanoscenti!
 
Never Could These My Eyes Correct the Grievous
 
Never could these my eyes correct the grievous error
 that they would make unless struck blind,
if, having seen the Garisenda Tower
with such bright ornaments as one may find,
 
they failed (the curse on them!) to realize            5
it is the greatest tower men talk about:
I therefore wish to warn both of my eyes
that any thought of peace with them I doubt.
 
Ah, what they rightly were supposed to guess
without one glimpse at all, they failed to see        10
even when they did look: so in distress
 
my spirits weep on their deficiency.
Believe me: if my mind stays as it is,
I will those ingrates with my own hand slay.

Notes:

Never Could These My Eyes Correct The Grievous / (Non mi poriano già mai fare ammenda)
 
The sonnet on the Garisenda tower is a weak proof of Dante’s sojourn in Bologna (see also Inferno 31:136). It was definitely composed early (1287) and in jest. What did his eyes fail to notice—a gracious lady passing by or the other famous tower, the Asinelli?

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