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From shepherds' lips; O everlastingly
Be cherished thy dear name,
While snakes in brambles teem
And fishes swim in stream !
Nor shalt live only in my accents tame,
Shepherds in myriad ways
Shall wreathe their rhymes and pipe unto thy praise.
If in your midst there dwell a soul of Love,

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O leafy oaks, give shade
To the quiet bones here laid.

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NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, 1469–1527

Ho art thou ? Mortal woman were less sweet ;

The Heavens have richly decked and dowered thee! Why So restless ? Whence these wings upon thy feet ? ”

“ Few know me, Opportunity am I.
The reason that I never can be still
Is because on a wheel my foot doth lie ;

Unto my course no flight but matcheth ill,
Nathless, so all be dazzled as I run,
Wings on my feet I have maintained; I spill

My tresses forwards that they flow as spun
Veil covering over face and bosom, so
In passing I be recognized by none;

Behind my head no single hair doth grow,
Wherefore he gazeth vainly when maybe
I hasten by or look back as I go.”

“Tell me, who is it that accompanieth thee?"

She is called Penitence: O take good care,
He keepeth her who cannot capture me !

And thou who chattering wastest time so rare,
Immersed in matters vain and manifold,
Alas, hast thou not seen, art not aware
That I meanwhile have slipped out of thy hold !”

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PIETRO BEMBO, 1470-1547

tu ,

A morendo, Senza te, Fratel, lasciato,

e

perchè il mio, dianzi, chiaro e lieto stato ora si volge in tenebre e martire ? Gran giustizia era, e mio summo desire, da me la strale avesse incominciato, e come al venir qui son primo stato, ancora stato fossi al dipartire. Che non arei veduto il mio

gran

danno, di me stesso sparir la miglior parte, e sarei teco fuor di questo affanno ! Or ch' io non ho potuto innanzi andarte, piaccia al Signor, a cui non piace inganno, ch' io possa in breve e scarco seguitarte.

LODOVICO ARIOSTO, 1474-1533

O

CCHI non vi accorgete,

quando mirate fiso quel si soave ed angelico viso, che come cera al foco, ovver qual neve ai raggi del sol sète ? In acqua diverrete, se non cangiate il loco di mirar quell'altiera e vaga fronte ; chè quelle luci belle al sole uguali pón tanto in voi, che vi faranno un fonte. Escon sempre da loro or fuoco or strali ; fuggite tanti mali ; se non, vi veggio alfin venir niente, e me cieco restarne eternamente.

PIETRO BEMBO, 1470-1547

HOU too then, Brother, in the tide of spring

Dying, hast left me solitary here,
Whence life, before so bright and glad a thing,
Is shadowed over with dismay and fear;
Justice it would have been and passionate
Desire of mine that hitherwards the dart
Firstly had sped, that as I was not late
In coming, so I might betimes depart.

Then I would not have known such deep despair,
Nor seen myself's best portion borne away,
Nor been subjected to such misery;
But now, since I before thee might not fare,
God grant, Who loveth equity, I may
Be liberated soon and follow thee

LODOVICO ARIOSTO, 1474-1533

YES, are you not aware,

Her face so soft and fair,
You are as wax in fire,
As snow in sun ? Unless you have a care
Certes you'll melt away,
Yearning towards her lovely, haughty brow;
Her shining eyes, each like the sun's own ray,
Do move you so, I vow
They'll make of you a water-spring one day;
From out of them or flames or arrows stray ;
O flee from such dismay,
Or else no vestige of you shall I find,
And must perforce for evermore be blind.

A bella donna mia d'un sì bel foco

e di sì bella neve ha il viso adorno, ch' Amor mirando intorno qual di lor sia più bel, si prende gioco ;

tal' è proprio a veder quell' amorosa fiamma che nel bel viso si sparge, ond' ella con soave riso si va sue bellezze innamorando ;

qual'è a veder, qualor vermiglia rosa scuopra il bel paradiso delle sue foglie, allor che 'l sol diviso dall' oriente sorge il giorno alzando.

E bianca è sì, come n'appare, quando nel bel seren più limpido la luna sovra l' onda tranquilla co’ bei tremanti suoi raggi scintilla.

Si bella è la beltade che in quell' una mia donna hai posto, Amor, e in sì bel loco che l'altro bel di tutto il mondo è poco.

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ER gran vento che spire,

non si estingue, anzi più cresce un gran foco, e spegne e fa sparire ogni aura il poco.

Quanto ha guerra maggiore intorno in ogni luogo, e in sulle porte, tanto più un grande amore si ripara nel core, e fa più forte. D'umile e bassa sorte, Madonna, il vostro si potria ben dire, se le minacce l'han fatto fuggire.

Y lovely lady doth adorn her face

With such bright fire and such pure drifts of snow,
Which be the richer grace
Love, gazing upon both, is fain to know.

The passionate flame we see
Over her fair cheeks run,
As with soft laughters she
Of her fond charms enamours everyone,

Is like the crimson rose
Opening the promised land
Of her sweet petals when the sun-god throws
The east behind him and soars day in hand.

Her candour doth appear
Even as the moon in tranquil skies and bright
Upon still waters clear
Casting her tremulous rays of silver light.

Love, thou hast granted to my lady here
Beauty so wondrous rare
The world hath nought that can with it compare.

W

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THEN a fierce wind goes raging by,

A great fire grows, it doth not die ;
When a light zephyr floats about
It blows a little burning out !

Where bitterest is the battle strife
In every place, by every coast,
Within the heart great love hath life
And of the doughtiest deeds doth boast.
Madonna, poor thy love and slight
If by a breath 'tis put to flight !

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