Love Poems

Volgete li occhi a veder chi mi tira

 

Volgete li occhi a veder chi mi tira,
per ch’i’ non posso più venir con vui,
e onoratel, ché questi è colui
che per le gentil donne altrui martira.
 
La sua vertute, ch’ancide sanz’ira,              5
pregatel che mi laghi venir pui;
ed io vi dico, de li modi sui
cotanto intende quanto l’om sospira:
 
ch’elli m’è giunto fero ne la mente,
e pingevi una donna sì gentile,                   10
che tutto mio valore a’ più le corre;
 
e fammi udire una voce sottile che dice:
“Dunque vuo’ tu per neente
a li occhi tuoi sì bella donna torre?”
 

Deh, ragioniamo insieme un poco, Amore

 
Deh, ragioniamo insieme un poco, Amore,
e tra’mi d’ira, che mi fa pensare;
e se vuol l’un de l’altro dilettare,
trattiam di nostra donna omai, signore.
 
Certo il viaggio ne parrà minore                   5
prendendo un così dolze tranquillare,
e già mi par gioioso il ritornare,
audendo dire e dir di suo valore.
 
Or incomincia, Amor, ché si convene,
e moviti a far ciò ch’a la cagione                10
che ti dichini a farmi compagnia,
 
o vuol merzede o vuol tua cortesia;
ché la mia mente il mio penser dipone,
cotal disio de l’ascoltar mi vene.
 
To See the One Who Pulls Me, Turn Your Eyes

 

To see the one who pulls me, turn your eyes,
for I can be beside you nevermore;
and honor him, who surely is the one
that for a gentle face gives grief galore.
 
His might, that with no wrath can kill, implore,         5
so that I may in freedom live again:
of all his actions this I only say—
one learns them but through martyrdom and pain.
 
How fiercely in my mind has he appeared,
painting so dear and sweet a lady there,                10
that all my courage hastened to her feet!
 
Only this fainting murmur can I hear,
“And will you pay no price to steal so sweet
and dear a woman for your mortal gaze?”
 
 
 
Oh, for a while let’s talk together, Love
 
Oh, for a While Let’s Talk Together, Love
and save me from this wrath that stirs my mind;
and, in each other some delight to find,
let us speak only of our lady, Lord.
 
Surely our journey will less long appear                  5
if we start now conversing but of mirth;
and going back already seems so dear,
to tell and hear descriptions of her worth.
 
So now begin, O Love, for it is time:
hasten to do what is the reason why                     10
you have come down to keep me company,
 
either through mercy or through courtesy.
My mind has banished other thoughts away,
so much I long to hear you speak to me.

Notes:

To See the One Who Pulls Me, Turn Your Eyes / (Volgete li occhi a veder chi mi tira)

Contini labels this a “scholastic sonnet,” directed to Dante’s poetic friends and points out the established theme of love’s grievous work: “How fiercely in mind has he appeared.” Note again the Sicilian image of “painting the lady.”

Oh, For A While Let’s Talk Together, Love / (Deh, ragioniamo insieme un poco, Amore)

Again the theme of the journey is presented here with the poet asking Love to converse of the Lady, thus alleviating the pain and longing for his return.


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