• Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Google+ Icon

Amor, da che conven pur ch'io mi doglia

November 25, 2017

 

Love, since it has been decreed that I must

Suffer, in order to be heard;

That I must show myself spent of virtue,

Then grant me the understanding and trust

That I may weep and say a word

In such a manner that my thoughts ring true.

You wished on me the death known only by few,

Yet who should forgive the one who knows no way

Of sharing the feelings to which I’m prey?

Who should believe that Love has found me so?

Were this speech, which carries my torment through,

Allowed to flow, only make sure Death takes

Me before this cruel woman's heart bears witness

To my words. For were it to hear my entreaty,

Pity would mercilessly dissolve her beauty.

 

No realm exists which can offer solace

From her omnipresent image.

There is no thought which does not end with hers.

The foolish soul its own harms does entice,

So beautiful and fierce her visage.

How it paints her so, and how it errs so.

It therefore looks, coursing with desires,

Kindled within by the aspect of her eyes,

Such that the soul is deceived

And blames itself for the passions that arise.                     

But what kind of reasoned arguments could still

The ever raging storm within my heart?

Anguish, which can no longer be contained,

Exits from out my mouth and quickly flies

Whenever she appears before my eyes.  

                            

The spiteful image, which ever remains

Fierce and victorious,

And has her sovereignty over me willed,

Upon her own volition ordains

That I go to that source

Where image and its likeness are distilled.

I know well that snow is by the sun stilled

But more I cannot know: I do like him

In another one’s skin,

Who walks with his own feet unto dark death.

When I approach her, my mind becomes filled

With voices saying:  “see the one who soon will die”

And thus I turn to see if I can espy

One whom I can implore, “save me from those deep

Eyes, who strike me even before I can weep.”

 

What I’ve become, so wounded Love, you know,

But I remain hopeless.

And you watch me even as I die,

But were my soul to once again flow

Into my heart, oblivious,

It would find ignorance and woe awry.

But as I rise and gaze upon my wounds irate,

Which have disfigured me since I was struck,

I still can’t confront

You, such that I can’t help but shake with fear.

My face, like winter, has seen all its color fly

As when that great thunder robbed me of grace.

For while the blow arose from out the sweetest face,

It yet remains all too tenebrous here –               

As my spirit stares on, hopelessly, with fear.

 

So this is what you’ve done to me, my Love,

In the valley of rivers,

Throughout which you keep power over me:

Thus here I live and die, while from above

You touch me, which delivers

Me by way of light, onto the Deathly path.

Alas, no woman’s here, no gentle soul,

From whom I might gain some understanding:              

If she does not feel my pain

Then I can’t hope I’ll ever find aid.

And this woman, who you’ve allowed to flee,

Resists with implacable force your every arrow –

Such is her pride, unmoved by any sorrow.

Indeed, the course of every arrow is stayed                

By this woman, whose heart is made of stone.

 

Oh! my little song, flown from a mountain,

If by chance you ever pass by Florence

Who holds me with abhorrence -

Emptied of all its love and once great mercy -

If you find yourself inside, about its citizens,

Tell them, “no longer fear his insolence,

For he’s now so enchained and entranced

That even if you were to bend your cruelty,

He still could not hope to return freely.”

 

Translation © David B. Gosselin

 

Original

 

Amor, da che convien pur ch’io mi doglia

perché la gente m’oda,

e mostri me d’ogni vertute spento,

dammi savere a pianger come voglia,

sì che ‘l duol che si snoda                              

portin le mie parole com’io ‘l sento.

Tu vo’ ch’io muoia, e io ne son contento:

ma chi mi scuserà, s’io non so dire

ciò che mi fai sentire?

chi crederà ch’io sia omai sì colto?                

E se mi dai parlar quanto tormento,

fa’, signor mio, che innanzi al mio morire

questa ria per me nol possa udire:

ché, se intendesse ciò che dentro ascolto,

pietà faria men bello il suo bel volto.               

 

Io non posso fuggir ch’ella non vegna

ne l’imagine mia,

se non come il pensier che la vi mena.

L’anima folle, che al suo mal s’ingegna,

com’ella è bella e ria,                                   

così dipinge, e forma la sua pena:

poi la riguarda, e quando ella è ben piena

del gran disio che de li occhi le tira,

incontro a sé s’adira,

c’ha fatto il foco ond’ella trista incende.          

Quale argomento di ragion raffrena,

ove tanta tempesta in me si gira?

L’angoscia, che non cape dentro, spira

fuor de la bocca si ch’ella s’intende,

e anche a li occhi lor merito rende.                 

 

La nimica figura, che rimane

vittoriosa e fera

e signoreggia la vertù che vole,

vaga di se medesma andar mi fane

colà dov’ella è vera,                                       

come simile a simil correr sole.

Ben conosco che va la neve al sole,

ma più non posso: fo come colui

che, nel podere altrui,

va co’ suoi piedi al loco ov’egli è morto.           

Quando son presso, parmi udir parole

dicer: “Vie via vedrai morir costui!”

Allor mi volgo per veder a cui

mi raccomandi; e ‘ntanto sono scorto

da li occhi che m’ancidono a gran torto.          

 

Qual io divegno sì feruto, Amore,

sailo tu, e non io,

che rimani a veder me sanza vita;

e se l’anima torna poscia al core,

ignoranza ed oblio                                        

stato è con lei, mentre ch’ella è partita.

Com’io risurgo, e miro la ferita

che mi disface quand’io fui percosso,

confortar non mi posso

sì ch’io non triemi tutto di paura.                    

E mostra poi la faccia scolorita

qual fu quel trono che mi giunse a dosso;

che se con dolce riso è stato mosso,

lunga fiata poi rimane oscura,

perché lo spirto non si rassicura.                   

 

Così m’hai concio, Amore, in mezzo l’alpi,

ne la valle del fiume

lungo il qual sempre sopra me se’ forte:

qui vivo e morto, come vuol, mi palpi,

merzé del fiero lume                                     

che sfolgorando fa via a la morte.

Lasso, non donne qui, non genti accorte

veggio, a cui mi lamenti del mio male:

se a costei non ne cale,

non spero mai d’altrui aver soccorso.              

E questa sbandeggiata di tua corte,

signor, non cura colpo di tuo strale:

fatto ha d’orgoglio al petto schermo tale,

ch’ogni saetta là spunta suo corso;

per che l’armato cor da nulla è morso.            

 

O montanina mia canzon, tu vai;

O forse vedrai Fiorenza, la mia terra,

che fuor di sé mi serra,

vota d’amore e nuda di pietate;

se dentro v’entri, va’ dicendo: “Omai                

non vi può far lo mio fattor più guerra:

là ond’io vegno una catena il serra

tal, che se piega vostra crudeltate,

non ha di ritornar qui libertate”.

 

*See here for notes on the poem and to compare with other translations.

Tags:

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload