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As it befitteth Lady sweet to wear;
She is the loveliest thing nature can do;
Beauty is proved by her example true.
^And from her eyes whenever they do move
Flame-kindled spirits issue forth of love
Who smite the eyes of those beholding through
Unto their hearts. See! in her face Love stays
Smilingly where no soul may fix his gaze.

O Song, when I release thee, well I know
With many ladies will thy converse be:
I do exhort, since I created thee,
For Love's own tender daughter, simply sweet,
To say beseechingly where thou dost go:
"Show me the way, for I am sent to be
Her own whose praises have apparelled me."
And if it vexeth thee vainly to greet,
Pause not where thou with boorish folk mayest meet:
So far thou canst, seek the sole company
Of courteous knights and ladies who will be
Thy guides along the roadway which is fleet.
Thou wilt find Love with her: commend thou me
Unto his favour as befitteth thee.

A Maiden in the spring-time of her years,
Compassionate and dowered with every grace,
Was with me when I cried on Death for aid,
And seeing these eyes of mine so dim with tears,
And hearing the wild words I cried apace,
Suddenly fell a-weeping, sore afraid;
Then other ladies gathered there and made
Conscious by her who mourned of my presence,
Took her from thence:
And, drawing near so I might understand,
One of the band

e qual dicea: "Perchè sì ti sconforte?' Allor lassai la nuova fantasia, chiamando il nome de la donna mia.

Era la voce mia sì dolorosa, e rotta sì da 1' angoscia del pianto, ch' io solo intesi il nome nel mio core; e con tutta la vista vergognosa, ch' era nel viso mio giunta cotanto, mi fece verso lor volgere Amore. Ehi era tale a veder mio colore, che facea ragionar di morte altrui: "Deh confortiam costui," pregava l' una l' altra umilemente; e dicevan sovente:

"Che vedestù, che tu non hai valore?" e quando un poco confortato fui, io dissi: "Donne, dicerollo a vui."

Mentre io pensava la mia frale vita, e vedea 'l suo durar com' è leggiero, piansemi Amor nel core, ove dimora; per che l' anima mia fu sì smarrita, che sospirando dicea nel pensero: —Ben converrà che la mia donna mora.— Io presi tanto smarrimento allora, ch' io chiusi li occhi vilmente gravati; e furon sì smagati

li spirti miei, che ciascun giva errando; e poscia imaginando, di caunoscenza e di verità fora, visi di donne m' apparver crucciati, che mi dicean pur :—Morati, morati.—

Poi vidi cose dubitose molte nel vano imaginare ov' io entrai; ed esser mi parea non so in qual loco,

Murmured: "Sleep not," one: "Wherefore art dismayed?:
Then, casting from me my strange revery,
TI called upon my Lady piteously.

Alas, my voice so dolorously was bound,
So broken with my grief's tempestuousness,
None heard save I within my heart her name;
Whereon Love bade me turn myself around
Towards those standing by me, none the less
Though in my face was manifest my shame.
So direful was my pallor, in the same
Moment they all began to speak of death
Under their breath,

Saying among themselves : "Ah, comfort we!"
Then constantly:

"What sight hath put thy valour unto shame?"
I answered them when in some wise consoled:
"O Ladies, unto you it shall be told!"

While I was pondering how my life was frail
And saw how swiftly it did flee away,
Love wept within my heart where he doth lie;
Thereat my 'wildered soul grew faint and pale
And I, in mine own mind, did sigh and say:
"Alas, one day my Lady too must die!"
Then, since drear sights of terror gathered nigh,
I closed my eyes, through fear downcast and spent,
And my wits went

Distraught awand'ring far away from me,
Till presently,

In fancy of both truth and wisdom shy,
I saw despairful women thronging by
Wailing aloud: "Thou too, thou too shalt die!"

Darkly I viewed full many a vision there
In the vain dreaming that encompassed me;
Meseemed to tarry in an unknown place,

e veder donne andar per via disciolte,

qual lagrimando, e qual traendo guai,

che di tristizia saettavan foco.

Poi mi parve vedere a poco a poco

turbar lo sole ed apparir la stella,

e pianger elli ed ella;

cader gli augelli volando per l' are,

e la terra tremare;

ed omo apparve scolorito e fioco,

dicendomi :—Che fai? non sai novella?

morta è la donna tua ch' era sì bella !—

Levava li occhi miei bagnati in pianti, e vedea (che parean pioggia di manna) li angeli che tornavan suso in cielo, ed una nuvoletta avean davanti, dopo la qual gridavan tutti :—Osanna— e s'altro avesser detto, a voi dire' lo. Allor diceva Amor :—Più nol ti celo; vieni a veder mostra donna che giace ;— lo imaginar fallace

mi condusse a veder madonna morta e quand' io l' avea scorta, vedea che donne la covrian d'un velo; ed avea seco umilità verace, che parea che dicesse :—Io sono in pace.—

Io divenia nel dolor sì umile, veggendo in lei tanta umilità formata, ch' io dicea :—Morte, assai dolce ti tengno; tu dèi omai esser cosa gentile, poichè tu se' ne la mia donna stata, e dèi aver pietate, e non disdegno. Vedi che sì desideroso vegno d' esser de' tuoi, ch' io ti somiglio in fede. Vieni, chè 'l cor te chiede.—

Women ran past me with unbraided hair,

Some weeping, some most pitiful to see,

Whose griefs like burning arrows flew apace.

Even as I looked the sun concealed his face,

A star up into the high Heavens leapt,

And they both wept;

Then the earth trembled, and the birds, skybound,

Dropped to the ground;

And one appeared to me in grievous case:

"What dost thou here? Hast thou not heard ?" he said,

"Thy Lady, she who was so fair, is dead!"

I lifted up my tear-drowned eyes, and lo,
Like rain of manna, I became aware
Of angels floating upwards to God's throne:
Before them all a little cloud did go
And voices crying " Hosanna " thrilled the air.
Said Love: "The hour is come when shall be shown
To thee our Lady where she lieth again."
Then by my vain

Bewitchment to her presence I was led,
And saw her dead:

By women's hands a veil was softly thrown
About her, in humility she lay:
"I am at peace," methought I heard her say.

Then I, beholding her so meekly dressed,
Grew meek as she, and in my sorrowing
Said: "Death, now I account thee passing sweet;
Since thou wast folded to my Lady's breast
Henceforth thou needs must be a gentle thing,
And in thee pity and not scorn have seat;
Ah, look and see how eagerly I greet
Thee, Death, thy sign is written in my face,
I plead thy grace!"

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