Poems from the Vita Nuova

Gentil pensero che parla di vui
 
Gentil pensero che parla di vui
Sen vene a dimorar meco sovente,
E ragiona d’amor sì dolcemente
Che face consentir lo core in lui.
 
L’anima dice al cor: “Chi è costui                  5
Che vene a consolar la nostra mente,
Ed è la sua vertù tanto possente
Ch’altro penser non lascia star con nui?”
 
Ei le risponde: “Oi anima pensosa,
Questi è uno spiritel novo d’amore,               10
Che reca innanzi me li suoi desiri;
 
E la sua vita, e tutto ‘l suo valore,
Mosse de li occhi di quella pietosa
Che si turbava de’ nostri martiri”.
 
A Gentle Thought Reminding But of You
 
A gentle thought reminding but of you
comes often here to dwell and stay with me,
conversing still of love so tenderly,
it makes my heart agree and find it true.
 
The soul says to the heart, “Who can he be,          5
that comes to give our mind a solace new,
and is so worthy and so strong to view,
no other thought dare keep us company?”
 
The heart replies to it, “Oh, pensive soul,
this is a youthful spirit of new love,                        10
that now before me its own longing brings.
 
All of its life and all its worthiness
from the sweet glances of that lady move,
who used to be perturbed by our distress.”

Notes:

A Gentle Thought Reminding But of You — (Gentil pensero che parla di vui)—(XXXVIII) 

In the prose preceding this sonnet the author explains that in this growing battle of feelings the heart equals the amorous appetite while the soul signifies reason. Thus the rational faculty is synonymous with Beatrice while the amorous sentiment leans toward the new gentle lady. Of this vain attraction Beatrice will reproach him in Purgatorio 31:58-60.


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