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Virgin

I must lament apace, O son, O my solace,

O son, tender of face, who quenched life in Thy breast?

Better indeed had they carried my heart away,

Nailed to the cross to-day I should have been more blessed!

Christ

Mother, whence art thou here? deadly thy hurt I fear!

0 sorely every tear of thine doth pierce my breast!

Virgin

I weep, for they have ta'en son, father, spouse again;

Whose stroke doth deal Thee pain? Art stripped at whose behest?

Christ

Mother, why dost complain? Here in the world remain
To soothe my comrades' pain, those whom I have caressed.

Virgin

Son, say not so to me, for I would die with Thee,
For I would go with Thee, while life is in my breast!
0 let the grave be one, sad mother with her son,
Dead mother with her son, gathered to the same rest!

Christ

Mother, my heart dismayed between thy hands is laid,
Let son of thine be made, John whom I loved the best!
Thy mother, John, behold, in mercy her enfold,
Pity in thee be bold, for her heart is distressed!

Virgin

0 son, Thy soul is flown, a frenzied woman's own, Hers who is lost and lone, son of a heart distressed! figlio bianco e vermiglio, figlio senza simiglio, figlio, a chi m'appiglio? figlio, pur m'hai lassato! O figlio bianco e biondo, figlio, volto iocondo, figlio, perchè t'ha el mondo, figlio, cusì sprezzato? figlio dolce e piacente, figlio de la dolente, figlio, hatte la gente malamente trattato! Ioanne, fi' novello, morto è lo tuo fratello, sentito aggio 'l coltello che fo' profetizzato.

Che morto ha figlio e mate, de dura morte afferrate; trovarse abbraccecate mate e figlio a un cruciato.

Guido Guinizelli, 1240-1276

Voglio del ver la mia donna laudare,
et assembrargli la rosa e lo giglio:
come la stella Diana splende e pare,
e ciò ch' è lassù bello, a lei somiglio.
Verde rivera a lei rassembro e l' a' re,
tutti colori e fior, giallo e vermiglio,
oro e argento e ricche gio' preclare;
medesmo Amor per lei raffina miglio.
Passa per via sì adorna e sì gentile,
ch' abassa orgoglio a cui dona salute:
e fal di nostro fé se non la crede.
E non le può appressar om che sia vile:
ancor ve ne dirò maggior virtute:
null' om può mal pensar fin che la vede

O son, O white and rose, whose equal no man knows,
Where shall I find repose, since Thou art gone, heart's best?
0 son so fair and white, whose face was once so bright,
Why did the whole world's spite so sorely Thee molest?
0 sweet and kind Thou art, son of this sorry heart,
O with what cruel art, son, hast Thou been oppressed!
John, son new-fashioned, now is thy brother dead,
The sword, as it was said, I feel piercing my breast!

Mother and son even so one cruel death do know,
One cross hath laid them low, in one embrace they rest.

GUIDO GUINIZELLI, I24O-I276

IN verity I'd sing my lady's praise,
With rose and Jily-rlower her face compare:
Like to the morning star her beauty's rays,
Like to a saint in heaven, ah, wond'rous fair!
Green shades are like her and the breeze as well,
All hues, all blossoms, flushed and pale, beside
Silver and gold and rare stones' lustrous spell;
Even Love himself in her is glorified.

She goes her way so gentle and so sweet,
Pride falls in whomsoever she doth meet,
Worthless the heart which scorneth such delight!
Ungentle folk may not endure her sight,
And a still greater virtue I aver:
No man thinks ill hath he but looked on her.

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AL cor gentil ripara sempre amore,
com' a la selva augello in la verdura,
nè fe' amore avanti gentil core,
nè gentil core avanti amor natura;
ch' adesso che fue il sole
si tosto lo splendore fue lucente,
me fue avanti il sole;
e prende amor in gentilezza loco
così propi'amente
come clarore in clarità di foco.

Foco d'amore in gentil cor s'apprende,
come vertute in pietra preziosa;
chè da la stella valor non discende
avanti 1 sol la faccia gentil cosa.
Poi che n' ha tratto fuore
per sua forza lo sol ciò che l1 è vile,
la stella 'i dà valore:
così lo cor, ch' è fatto da natura
schietto, puro e gentile,
donna, a guisa di stella, lo inamora.

Amor per tal ragion sta in cor gentile per qual lo foco in cima del doppiere splende a lo suo diletto, chiar, sottile: non l1 staria altrimenti, tant' è fero. Però prava natura

rincontra amor como fa l' acqua 'l foco,
caldo per la freddura:
amor in gentil cor prende rivera
per suo consimil loco
com' adamas del ferro in la minera.

Fere lo sole il fango tutto 'l giorno, vile riman, ne 'l sol perde calore: dice om altier: "Gentil per schiatta torno ";

Within the gentle heart abideth Love,
As doth a bird within green forest glade,
Neither before the gentle heart was Love,
Nor Love ere gentle heart by Nature made.
Created was the sun,

And lo, his radiance everywhere held sway,
Nor was before the sun;
Love doth unto all gentleness aspire,
And in the self-same way
Doth clarity unto clear flame of fire.

Love's fire is kindled in the gentle heart,
As virtue is within the precious stone;
From out the star no glory doth depart
Until made gentle by the sun alone.
When the sun hath drawn forth
By his own strength all that which is not meet,
The star doth prove its worth.
Thus to the heart, by Nature fashioned so
Gentle and pure and sweet,
The love of woman like a star doth go.

The reason Love in gentle heart doth stay Is why the fire unto the torch-head flies, Burning as he doth fancy, bright and gay, And were too proud to do so otherwise. But Nature's cruel scheme Contrasteth Love as water, flame; as heat, Quelled by the cooling stream. In gentle heart doth Love his bower divine, Since like with like must meet, Thus diamonds in the iron of the mine.

Upon the mire the sun sheds his bright rays, That is still vile, nor doth the sun turn cold: "Gentle am I by birth," the proud man says.

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