Poems from the Vita Nuova

Ne li occhi porta la mia donna Amore
 
Ne li occhi porta la mia donna Amore,
Per che si fa gentil ciò ch’ella mira;
Ov’ella passa, ogn’om ver lei si gira,
E cui saluta fa tremar lo core,
 
Sì che, bassando il viso, tutto smore,            5
E d’ogni suo difetto allor sospira:
Fugge dinanzi a lei superbia ed ira.
Aiutatemi, donne, farle onore.
 
Ogne dolcezza, ogne pensero umile
Nasce nel core a chi parlar la sente,             10
Ond’è laudato chi prima la vide.
 
Quel ch’ella par quando un poco sorride,
Non si pò dicer né tenere a mente,
Sì è novo miracolo e gentile.
 
My Lady Carries Love Within Her Eyes
 
My lady carries Love within her eyes,
whereby whate’er she looks at gentle grows.
Towards her, where she passes, each man draws,
and, greeted by her, tremblingly replies.
 
His forehead bent, he pales and nearly dies,          5
so deeply his defects he sees and knows.
Envy and pride dare not stay to her close:
then help me, ladies, praise her to the skies.
 
Every most humbling thought and every bliss
rise in the heart of one who hears her speak,         10
so that who sees her first is firstly blest.
 
And if her faintest smile be manifest,
to tell it, word is vain, and mind is weak
so new and dear a miracle it is.

Notes:

My Lady Carries Love Within Her Eyes — (Ne li occhi porta la mia donna amore) —(XXII)

The narrative part states that the poet felt the power to write such words in praise of this most noble of women, attesting to the miraculous effect her presence and greeting have on every man so that “he pales and nearly dies.” This sonnet was imitated by many, including Poliziano (1454-1494) and Lorenzo dei Medici (1449-1492).


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