Poems from the
- Morte villana, di
- Morte villana, di pietà nemica,
- Di dolor madre antica,
- Giudicio incontastabile gravoso,
- Poi che hai data matera al cor doglioso
- Ond’io vado pensoso,
- Di te blasmar la lingua s’affatica.
- E s’io di grazia ti voi’ far
- Convenesi ch’eo dica
- Lo tuo fallar d’onni torto tortoso,
- Non però ch’a la gente sia nascoso,
- Ma per farne cruccioso
- Chi d’amor per innanzi si notrica.
- Dal secolo hai partita cortesia
- E ciò ch’è in donna da pregiar
- In gaia gioventute
- Distrutta hai l’amorosa leggiadria.
- Più non voi’ discovrir qual donna
- Che per le propietà sue canosciute.
- Chi non merta salute
- Non speri mai d’aver sua compagnia.
- Villainous Death, O
- Villainous death, O pity’s foe, and old
- mother of misery;
- O incontestable and grievous fate
- that showed my aching heart so prompt a bait,
- pensiveness is my
- as I, to blame you, this my tongue make bold.
If I now say you lack a graceful mold,
it also must be told
you show your want of straightness most unstraight,
oh, not to hide from all mankind your
but just to make more great
the grief of those that Love does feed and hold.
Kindness you’ve banished from our century,
and what in woman is as virtue known.
Gladness of youthful years away is
and wholly wrecked all loving pleasantry.
No longer do you care if one there be
who all these qualities today may own.
Men not deserving of salvation
should never hope to share her
Villainous Death, O Pity’s Foe — (Morte
villana, di pieta nemica) VII-b
In the prose narration the author states that
this sonnet and the previous one were written upon the death of a young and
gentle woman, who was much admired in Florence. He had seen her keeping company
with Beatrice. Because of this association he wishes to speak of her death in a
vituperative way, a planctus.
6. As I, to blame you, this my tongue make
bold— My poetry tries to blame you with all my effort. “Blasmer,” is a
Provençal word (see in the prose, VIII:12). The poet wants Death to be hated,
for she lacks any grace and causes grief to all those who nourish themselves of
Love, for having deprived the world of a model of “courtesy,” virtue,
honesty. In this poem there are several echoes of Guittone D’Arezzo with whom
The sonnet is “rinterzato,” or with the
following scheme in the original: AaBBbA, AaBBbA/ CDdC, CddC.