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Then neither morn nor eve thou willest I should rest;
I too have precious coins piled high in a great chest:
Could'st thou give me for dower the richest and the best,
Twice over Saladin's vast hoard of gold,
I vow to-day this hand thou should'st not hold !

I've known full many a maid and obstinate no doubt,
But man by flattery may wheedle her about ;
He presseth her so close her strength must needs give out.
Love, bear in mind against a future day,
Man is the stronger and will have his way !

Art fain that I relent? Nay, better 'twere to die
Or e'er a modest maid be scorned by such as I!
Last evening hitherwards I saw thy footsteps fly :
This is my answer, flatterer, know withal
Such words from thee belike me not at all !

Alas, how many bonds hast cast about


heart !
I weep remembering thee in loneliness apart !
No lady in my life was cherished as thou art,
Was half as well-beloved, O rose divine,
And I believe one day thou wilt be mine.

If it so came to pass,

down-fallen were my pride,
That to enhance thy fame my beauty should abide !
Indeed I'd shave my head before this could betide,
And to the shelter of a convent flee,
From thy unwelcome wooing to be free.

Se tu con sore arenneti, donna col viso cleri,
a lo mostero vennoci e rennomi comfreri ;
per tanta prova vencierti, faràlo volonteri :
con teco stao la sera e lo maitino,
besogn' è ch' io ti tenga al meo dimino.

Oimė, tapina misera, com’ao reo destinato !
Gieso Cristo l'altissimo, del toto m'è airato,
conciepistimi ad abattare in omo blestiemato !
Cierca la terra, ch' este granne assai,
chiù bella donna di me troverai.

Ciercat' aio Calabria, Toscana e Lombardia,
Puglia, Costantinopoli, Gienoa, Pisa, Soria,
la Magna e Babilonia, e tutta Barbería :
donna non trovai tanto cortese,
per che sovrana di meve te prese.

Ella Poi tanto trabagliastiti fàcioti meo pregheri, che tu vadi, adomandimi a mia mare e a mon peri ; se dare mi ti degnano menami a lo mosteri, e sposami davanti dala iente, e poi farò le tuo' comannamente !

If thou to be a pun, proud maid, didst flee away,
Thy convent I would find, and where I was I'd stay ;
To win so fair a boon right gladly would I pay :
I'd be there at the dawn and twilight hour,
Until at last I had thee in my power.

Alas, most hapless maid, destined to suffer wrong!
Dear Saviour Jesus Christ, to Whom my hopes belong,
Silence this man, I pray, he doth blaspheme too long !
Let him go seeking through the world so wide,
He'll find a lovelier lady for his bride.


Calabria, Lombardy and Tuscany all through,
Constantinople, Rome, Pisa and Genoa too,
Babylon, Barbary, I've searched and searched anew,
But found no woman lovely as thou art,
Dearest and sovereign lady of my heart.

Since thou dost love me so I need no more repine,
Go ask me, love, of both mother and father mine;
If they thereto agree lay thou my hand in thine,
Then in the abbey take me soon to wife,
And I will do thy bidding all my life!

FEDERIGO II, 1194-1250

or ch'a voi piace, amore,

ch'eo deggia trovare,
onne mia

possanza ch' io vegna a compimento! Dato aggio lo meo core in voi, madonna, amare, e tutta mia speranza in vostro piacimento! e no mi partiraggio da voi, donna valente, ch'eo v' amo dolcemente, e piace a voi ch'eo aggia intendimento! Valimento mi date, donna fina, che lo mio core ad esso voi s' inchina.

S'io inchino, ragion aggio di si amoroso bene, chè spero, e vo sperando ch' ancora deggio avere allegro meo coraggio e tutta la mia spene : fui dato in voi amando, ed in vostro volere ; e veggio li sembianti

di voi, chiarita spera, che aspetto gioia intera. Ed ho fidanza che lo mio servire aggia a piacere a voi, che siete fiore sor l'altre donne, e avete più valore.

Valor sor l' altre avete, e tutta caunoscenza ; null'homo non poría vostro pregio contare, di tanto bella sete, secondo mia credenza, non è donna che sia alta, sì bella, e pare, nè ch' aggia insegnamento di voi, donna sovrana. La vostra cera umana mi dà conforto, e facemi allegrare. Allegrare mi posso, donna mia, più conto mi ne tegno tuttavia.

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FREDERICK II, 1194-1250
INCE, love, 'tis thy desire

that I should find a tune,
Certes I will aspire to fashion one right soon!
Madonna, unto thee my heart's true love is given,
And for thy pleasure, see,

my every hope hath striven ! Madonna, I from thee will never more depart. I love thee tenderly, O apprehend my heart ! Madonna sweet, give virtue unto me, And let this heart of mine be bowed to thee !

'Tis fitting I should bow before so fond a boon,
And I am tempted now to hope that very soon
My jocund courage be renewed, my hope as well :
Lo, I in loving thee, into thy power fell ;
Thy face is in my sight like to a shining sphere
Wherein I seek delight,
Trusting my service here
Be pleasing unto thee who art the flower
Among all women and hast richest dower.

Than others rarer far, more virtuous as well ; No men on earth there are who can appraise thy spell, Thou art so passing fair ; no woman, nay, trust me, Can match thee anywhere,

whatever her degree, Nor can her wit compare

with thine, O lady queen.
Light heart consoled I bear
Because of thy kind mien.
Madonna, though to gladness I am fain
Yet wiser he who doth his mirth restrain.

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