Love Poems

Dante a Guido Cavalcanti
 
Guido, i’ vorrei che tu e Lapo ed io
fossimo presi per incantamento
e messi in un vasel, ch’ad ogni vento
per mare andasse al voler vostro e mio,
 
sì che fortuna od altro tempo rio                    5
non ci potesse dare impedimento,
anzi, vivendo sempre in un talento,
di stare insieme crescesse ‘l disio.
 
E monna Vanna e monna Lagia poi
con quella ch’è sul numer de le trenta           10
con noi ponesse il buono incantatore:
 
e quivi ragionar sempre d’amore,
e ciascuna di lor fosse contenta,
sì come i’ credo che saremmo noi.
 
Dante to Guido Cavalcanti
 
Guido, I wish that Lapo, you and I,
in one enchantment bound, right now could be
inside a vessel faring on the sea,
braving the wind, to your content and mine.
 
Not only would no gale or stormy sky                   5
impediment or menace ever be,
but living there in constant harmony,
we would forever for more closeness sigh.
 
And Mona Vanna and Mona Lagia, then,
with the one numbered in the thirty best,               10
I wish the good enchanter there would place,
 
where we would ever about love converse,
and each of them would be of bliss possessed,
just as I reckon we would also be.

Notes:

Guido, I wish that Lapo you and I / (Guido, i'  vorrei che tu e Lapo ed io)

This most famous sonnet, a wish-poem derived from the Provençal plazer (Foster-Boyde), is directed to Guido Cavalcanti. It mentions another poet of the stil novo school, Lapo Gianni who, along with Dante himself, Guido and their three respective ladies—Monna Vanna, Monna Lagia and Beatrice, “the one numbered in the thirty best” (Vita Nuova, 6)— would be in a vessel “in one enchantment bound,” as in the legend of Tristan.)


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