Poems from the Vita Nuova

Deh peregrini che pensosi andate
 
Deh peregrini che pensosi andate
Forse di cosa che non v’è presente,
Venite voi da sì lontana gente,
Com’a la vista voi ne dimostrate,
 
Che non piangete quando voi passate            5
Per lo suo mezzo la città dolente,
Come quelle persone che neente
Par che ‘ntendesser la sua gravitate?
 
Se voi restate per volerlo audire,
Certo lo cor de’ sospiri mi dice                     10
Che lagrimando n’uscirete pui.
 
Ell’ha perduta la sua Beatrice;
E le parole ch’om di lei pò dire
Hanno vertù di far piangere altrui.
 
O Pilgrims, Who So Sad and Pensive Go
 
O pilgrims, who so sad and pensive go
maybe for something that you fail to see,
have you from far away just come to me,
just as your countenance now seems to show?
 
Right through the midst of this sad town you go     5
without a sign of tears or misery,
like people walking on most casually,
utterly unaware of grievous woe.
 
If you but stay awhile to hear the news—
deep in my heart I am so sure of this—                 10
not without weeping will you leave from here.
 
This town of ours has lost its Beatrice,
and any word about her one may use
suffices to make all shed many a tear.

Notes:

O Pilgrims, Who So Sad and Pensive Go — (Deh peregrini che pensosi andate)—(XL)

The pilgrims on the way to see Veronica’s veil, passing by Florence, seem oblivious to and unaware of Beatrice’s death. The poet wants to share this sad news for surely they will weep and grieve.


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