Poems from the Vita Nuova

Piangete, amanti, poi che piange Amore

Piangete, amanti, poi che piange Amore,
Udendo qual cagion lui fa plorare.
Amor sente a Pietà donne chiamare,
Mostrando amaro duol per li occhi fore,
 
Perché villana Morte in gentil core               5
Ha miso il suo crudele adoperare,
Guastando ciò che al mondo è da laudare
In gentil donna sovra de l’onore.
 
Audite quanto Amor le fece orranza,
Ch’io ‘l vidi lamentare in forma vera            10
Sovra la morta imagine avvenente;
 
E riguardava ver lo ciel sovente,
Ove l’alma gentil già locata era,
Che donna fu di sì gaia sembianza.
Since Love Is Weeping, Weep You, Lovers, Too
 
Since Love is weeping, weep you, lovers, too,
and hear the reason that now makes him moan.
Love, whose sad grief is now overtly known,
is calling every lady in his view,
 
for wicked Death with bitter want of rue               5
in gentle hearts his cruelty has shown,
wrecking whatever praise on earth is due
to a gentle lady above virtue’s own.
 
Listen how greatly Love has honored her!
For I have seen him truthfully lament                   10
the loveliness of her dead image spent.
 
Often uplifting to the sky his gaze,
he wondered where that gentle soul had fled,
that seemed down here so winsome and so glad.

Notes:

Since Love Is Weeping, Weep You, Lovers, Too -- (Piangete, amanti, poi che piange Amore) VII-a
 
The initial movement of the sonnet is inspired by Catullus,”Lugete, O Veneres Cupidinesque,” and was adopted by Petrarch in a sonnet mourning the death of Cino da Pistoia. It is an invitation to the faithful followers of Love to weep, for “wicked Death” has visited the gentle heart.
 
7. Wrecking whatever praise on earth is due: The theme of praise will be the major theme of the second part of the Vita Nuova. Love himself weeps over the “dead image spent.”

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