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HAVE always cherished for the translator a feeling of esteem tempered with pity and some concern. I have watched him sally

forth on an arduous errand, his soul aflame with the spark of a very legitimate egoism, and, when asked to justify his existence, I have heard him reply : “ I would beautify and enrich my homeland with the golden fruits of pilgrimage ! ” So far, so good! But then I have seen him reaping the reward of his labours, and alas, more often than not, it has been a harvest of contumely, increased and multiplied if he has dared so greatly as to forsake the highway of prose for the perilously alluring paths of poesy! And probably he has deserved all the trouble for which it will be averred he went asking ! Be that as it may, I was persuaded that in this regard total

I abstention was the only sagacious course. Then happy circumstances led me to the study of Italian, and suddenly I found myself wandering in a garden of perennial spring. After a while, for most of us are children at heart, I longed to run home with some, at any rate, of

I the blossoms I had gathered : how irresistible was my impulse this volume serves to show. It is, I believe, the first attempt to render into English verse representative gems of Italian lyrical poetry through the vicissitudes of six centuries. Every version is the fruit of labour wedded to love, and I can but trust that the harmony of these twain may commend me to the indulgence of the reader.

I will not dwell on the almost insuperable technical difficulties that beset me in the accomplishment of my task, for these are sufficiently evident. In addition I was menaced by what I will call a “spiritual” dilemma. One of the leading characteristics of Italian lyrical poetry is its individualism : every poet has a well-defined personality which, as a rule, finds very adequate expression in his writings. Thus, in the course of my work, I was obliged, in so far as I was able to invest myself with a bewildering diversity of moods, a feat calling for considerable virtuosity, as I think the reader will agree and, I hope, take into account !

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In the few cases where I have given fresh versions of poems already translated, and exquisitely well, I have done so with trepidation, and solely because the poems in question were such as could not in conscience be omitted from any representative anthology.

Since my desire is to lead all readers to the fountain-head, the original text will be found side by side with its English version, although, owing to consequent exigency of space, the number both of authors and of poems has had to be considerably reduced.

My warm thanks are due to the firm of Zanichelli, of Bologna, for allowing me to translate and reproduce selections from the poems of Carducci.

In conclusion I claim the proud and happy privilege of dedicating my work to two all-glorious mothers—England who bore me, and Italy who took me to her heart.

LORNA DE' LUCCHI Padua, 1921

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98 98

FRANCESCO PETRARCA Canzone Chiare, fresche e dolci acque .


70 Di pensier in pensier

74 Sonetto Quanto più m'avvicino

80 Quel vago impallidir

80 Pace non trovo

82 In qual parte del cielo Lieti fiori e felici

84 Or che 'l cielo e la terra. Occhi miei, oscurato

86 Valle che de' lamenti miei 86 Levommi il mio pensier. 88 I'vo piangendo

88 GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO Ballata Io mi son giovinetta

(Decameron) 90 Sonetto Intorn' ad una fonte

92 FRANCO SACCHETTI Ballata O vaghe montanine pasturelle 92 Caccia Passando con pensier


Sonetto Il canto de li augéi

Già vidi uscir di l' unde .
Vidi madonna sopra un fresco

Quanto sia vana ogni speranza 100
Lascia l'isola tua

102 Trionfo Quant' è bella giovinezza Canzone a ballo Chi non è innamorato

106 ANGELO POLIZIANO Ballata I'mi trovai, fanciulle

108 I'mi trovai un di tutto soletto IIO IACOPO SANŅAZARO

Lamento di Androgéo (Arcadia) 112 NICCOLÒ MACHIAVELLI Capitolo L' Occasione

116 PIETRO BEMBO Sonetto Adunque m'hai tu pure 118 LODOVICO ARIOSTO Madrigale Occhi, non vi accorgete. 118 La bella donna mia

I20 Per gran vento che spire

I20 Sonetto Perchè, Fortuna.

I22 Avventuroso carcere soave I22 Mal si compensa


La rete fu di queste fila. 124 • LODOVICO ARIOSTO Sonetto Lassi, piangiamo


Sonetto Non ha l'ottimo artista. 126

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Sonetto Non è sempre di colpa 128
Forse perchè d'altrui

128 Dal ciel discese

• 130 Quanto dirne

130 Madrigale Beati voi che su nel ciel 132

La Notte (written on a statue) 132 VITTORIA COLONNA Sonetto Mentre l' aura


Io pur, la Dio mercè


Cancheri e beccafichi

· 136 GIOVANNI GUIDICCIONI Degna nutrice


Voi, donna, ed io .

· GIOVANNI DELLA CASA O sonno, o della quieta


Amor m'impenna l'ale. 140

Poi che spiegat' ho l' ale 140 • GASPARA STAMPA

Chi vuol conoscer

142 Mesta e pentita

142 TORQUATO TASSO Madrigale Mentre in grembo

144 Non è questo un morire 144 Qual rugiada

146 Sonetto Vecchio ed alato dio

146 Tu parti, o rondinella

148 Amore alma è del mondo 148 Negli anni acerbi .

150 Scipio, o pietade è morta 150 GABRIELLO CHIABRERA

Quando a' suoi gioghi 152 Madrigale Dico alle Muse

152 Ode Apertamente dice la gente 152 ALESSANDRO TASSONI Sonetto Parenti miei

154 GIOVAMBATTISTA MARINO Apre l' uomo infelice

156 Altri canti di Marte CLAUDIO ACHILLINI Là nel mezzo del tempio

158 FULVIO TESTI Non aura popolar.

160 Ronchi, tu forse al piè 162 FRANCESCO REDI Ditirambo Bacco in Toscana

. 164 TOMMASO STIGLIANI Sonetto Quel musico augellin

170 VINCENZO DA FILICAIA Italia, Italia, o tu cui


Canzone Nascondetevi, o vezzose 172 PIETRO METASTASIO Sonetto Che speri, instabil Dea . 176

Sogni e favole io fingo


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