Poems from the Vita Nuova

Spesse fiate vegnonmi a la mente
 
Spesse fiate vegnonmi a la mente
Le oscure qualità ch’Amor mi dona,
E venmene pietà, sì che sovente
Io dico: “Lasso! avviene elli a persona?”
 
Ch’Amor m’assale subitanamente,                5
Sì che la vita quasi m’abbandona:
Campami un spirto vivo solamente,
E que’ riman, perché di voi ragiona.
 
Poscia mi sforzo, ché mi voglio atare;
E così smorto, d’onne valor voto,                  10
Vegno a vedervi, credendo guerire:
 
E se io levo li occhi per guardare,
Nel cor mi si comincia uno tremoto,
Che fa de’ polsi l’anima partire.
 
Often Within My Mind Come Back to Me
 
Often within my mind come back to me
all the dark qualities that Love makes mine;
and, in great pity, oftentimes I pine,
saying, “How can all this in one man be?”
 
For Love assails me, oh, so suddenly,                   5
that I at once see my whole life decline:
only one spirit does not yet resign—
the one that speaks of you relentlessly.
 
Eager to help myself, my best I do,
and, as I am, bereft of worth, and pale,                  10
come to you, hoping to be healed anew.
 
But if I lift my eyes and at you gaze,
such thunder does in this my heart prevail,
it does the soul from these my pulses chase.

Notes:

Often Within My Mind Come Back to Me — (Spesse fiate vegnonmi a la mente)— (XVI)

This sonnet in whose theme is the pain of love for the Lady, a mode of poetry closer to and influenced by Guido Cavalcanti, in whose poetry AMOR means MORS, thus the analogy LOVE-DEATH. With the first canzone in ch. 19 begins the poetry in praise of Beatrice.

2. The dark qualities —The dolorous and sad conditions caused by Love. Only the spirit that speaks of her saves him from death. As the lover gains strength and comes to her presence the spirit of life abandons him (see ch. 2).


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