Poems from the Vita Nuova

Lasso! per forza di molti sospiri
Lasso! per forza di molti sospiri,
Che nascon de’ penser che son nel core,
 occhi son vinti, e non hanno valore
Di riguardar persona che li miri;
E fatti son che paion due disiri                      5
Di lagrimare e di mostrar dolore,
E spesse volte piangon sì, ch’Amore
Li ‘ncerchia di corona di martiri.
Questi penseri, e li sospir ch’eo gitto,
iventan ne lo cor sì angosciosi                    10
Ch’Amor vi tramortisce, sì lien dole;
Però ch’elli hanno in lor, li dolorosi,
Quel dolce nome di madonna scritto,
E de la morte sua molte parole.
Pity! Because of All the Many Sighs
Pity! Because of all the many sighs
that from the thoughts of this my heart are born,
my eyes are vanquished now and powerless
ever to meet anyone else’s eyes.
Eyes? Mine are rather two desires for cries,           5
so much to weep and show their grief they yearn!
And tears they shed so oft, a martyr’s crown
Love all about them in a circle ties.
All of these thoughts, and every sigh I heave,
so agonized in this my heart become,                   10
Love, too, grows pale, so much for it he grieves;
for, carven in their bosom, all of them
mournfully bear my lady’s blissful name,
with many an echo of her mortal day.


Pity! Because Of All The Many Sighs — (Lasso! per forza di molti sospiri)—(XXXIX)

The poet expresses shame for his behavior so that his eyes do not dare look at anyone. They have become the very desire and vehicle of tears and pain, so much so that: “a crown of thorn/ Love all about them in a circle ties.” In the ninth hour of the day a vision of Beatrice dressed in red, as she first appeared to him, brings back all the memories and makes him regret the new amorous desire.

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