Poems from the Vita Nuova

Era venuta ne la mente mia
 
Primo cominciamento
Era venuta ne la mente mia
La gentil donna che per suo valore
Fu posta da l’altissimo signore
Nel ciel de l’umiltate, ov’č Maria.
 
Secondo cominciamento
Era venuta ne la mente mia                          5
Quella donna gentil cui piange Amore,
Entro ‘n quel punto che lo suo valore
Vi trasse a riguardar quel ch’eo facia.
 
Amor, che ne la mente la sentia,
S’era svegliato nel destrutto core,                 10
E diceva a’ sospiri: “Andate fore
Per che ciascun dolente si partia”.
 
Piangendo uscivan for de lo mio petto
Con una voce che sovente mena
Le lagrime dogliose a li occhi tristi.               15
 
Ma quei che n’uscian for con maggior pena,
Venian dicendo: “Oi nobile intelletto,
Oggi fa l'anno che nel ciel salisti".
 
Back to My Mind the Thought Had Come Anew
 
First Beginning
Back to my mind the thought had come anew
of that so gentle lady paced by God
the highest Lord in the becoming heaven
of all humility, where Mary’s too.
 
Second Beginning
That gentle lady Love is weeping for                      5
had come all of my mind to repossess,,
right at the point when her great worthiness,
brought you pay attention to my chore.
 
Feeling her presence in my thoughts, therefore,
Love in the wreckage of my heart awoke,               10
and, “Out! Go out!,” to every sigh he spoke,
which made them all depart then, sad and sore.
 
Weeping, they all were banished from my breast,
with that same sound which very often brings
to these my grieving eyes sad tears of love.            15
 
But those which left with greater suffering
kept murmuring, “O intellect so blest,
it is a year today you soared above.”

Notes:

The Gentle Lady Love Is Weeping For — (Era venuta ne la mente mia)— (XXXIV)
 
Sonnet with two beginnings written on the first anniversary day he was sketching an angel and, while he was deep in thought of Beatrice, some worthy visitors appeared. This detail is lacking in the first beginning.

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