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CIACCO DELL'ANGUILLAIA. XIIIth Century

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Lover

GEM so soft and rare, O dainty little fay,

Thou dost more virtues wear than any tongue can say ; By loveliness in thee, by grace of God, O save, Thou canst not help but see that I am, love, thy slave ! Madonna The earth hath many a gem,

the river and the sea, And virtue strives with them, though some they please, pardie ! But in these three nowhere, O friend, have I a place : Go, seek thy gem elsewhere and in another face. Lover Madonna, too severe is thy reply I wot, I have no ship to steer,

a diver I am not : To search where thou hast told, therefore I cannot go, If aid thou dost withhold, thy love will lay me low.

Madonna
If thou to death dost cleave

because of this essay,
Then I will not believe that love o'er thee had sway :
But should'st thou choose to pass before the year is through,
I'll have them say a mass as other women do !
Lover
O dainty little lass, save me from mortal pain,
For never did a Mass bring dead men back again :
If thou would'st me console, Madonna, do not tarry,
If I should die, my soul I'd have no masses harry !
Madonna
If thou from death wouldst flee, thy thoughts are wildly cast,
All thou on earth dost see

must pass away at last : But if a god art born, I cannot run away ; Since altars have thy scorn, respect the laws, I pray !

Amante
Per l'altar mi richiamo, che adoran li cristiani:
però merzè vi chiamo, poi sono in vostre mani.
Pregovi in cortesia

che m'aitate, per Dio, perch'io la vita mia da voi conosca in fio.

Madonna Si sai chieder merzede con umiltà piagente; giovar de' ti la fede, si ami coralmente, ha'mi tanto predicata, e si saputo dire, ch'io mi sono accordata : dimmi, che t' è in piacere ?

Amante
Madonna, a me non piace castella ne monete :
fatemi far la pace

con quelli che sapete. Questo adimando a vui e facciovi fenita : donna siete di lui ed egli è la mia vita.

GUITTONE D'AREZZO, 1230–1294

D ,

del buon Gesù, la cui sagrata morte, per liberarci dalle infernal porte, tolse l'error del primo nostro padre, risguarda Amor con saette aspre e quadre, a che strazio m'adduce ed a qual sorte. Madre pietosa, a noi cara consorte, ritraine dal seguir sue turbe e squadre.

Infondi in me di quel divino amore che tira l'alme nostre al primo loco, sì ch' io disciolga l' amoroso nodo. Cotal rimedio ha questo aspro furore, tal acqua suole spegner questo foco, come d'asse si trae chiodo con chiodo.

Lover
The altar I revere, adored in Christian lands,
But let thy pity hear, for I am in thy hands.
For God's sake aid bestow, I beg thee courteously,
Because full well I know thou hast my life in fee !
Madonna
Thou castest pity's spell with sweet and humble art,
Thy faith bath served thee well, I love thee from my heart :
To teach me thou hast known, pleading so skilfully,
Now I am all thine own, what more would'st have of me?

Lover
Neither for gold nor place, Madonna, do I care,
Commend me to the grace

of whom art well aware.
Lady, I ask of thee this favour, only this,
Thou art his own, and he knoweth my life is his.

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GUITTONE D' AREZZO, 1230–1294

GLORIOUS Mother of sweet Jesus, by

Whose sacred death, us from Hell's portals freeing,
Wiped out the sin, O Lady of the sky,
In which our primal father had his being,
Ah, see Love with his arrows sharp and bold,
What grievous fate he goadeth me unto!
O piteous Mother, dear ally, withhold
His unruly squadrons, let them not pursue !

O grant to me the love which is divine
And draweth up our souls to Paradise,
So I may loose these passionate bonds of mine.
Herein the balm for this wild fury lies,
This water doth to quench this fire avail
As in a plank a nail drives forth a nail.

COMPIUTA DONZELLA. Secolo XIII

Aaccr

LA stagion che il mondo foglia e fiora

accresce gioia a tutt' i fin' amanti : vanno insieme a li giardini allora che gli augеlletti fanno dolci canti : la franca gente tutta s' innamora, ed in servir ciascun traggesi innanti, ed ogni damigella in gioi' dimora, a me m' abbondan marrimenti e pianti.

Chè lo mio padre m'ha messa in errore, e tenemi sovente in forte doglia : donar mi vole, a mia forza signore : ed io di ciò non ho disio nè voglia, e 'n gran tormento vivo a tutte l’ore : però non mi rallegra fior ne foglia.

RUSTICO DI FILIPPO, 1235-1295

O

UANDO Dio messer Messerino fece
ben si credette far gran maraviglia,

ch' uccello e bestia e uom ne soddisfece, ch' a ciascheduna natura s' appiglia : chè nel gozzo anitroccol contraffece, ne le reni giraffa m'assomiglia, ed uom sería, secondo che si dice, ne la piacente sua cera vermiglia.

Ancor, risembra corvo nel cantare, ed è diritta bestia nel savere, ed uomo è somigliato al vestimento. Quanto Dio il fece, poco avea che fare, ma volle dimostrar lo suo potere si strana cosa fare ebbe in talento.

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COMPIUTA DONZELLA. XIIIth Century

THAT time the world doth put forth leaves and flowers

To all true lovers fuller joy belongs,
They go awandering then through garden bowers
Where little birds are warbling their sweet songs :
Then care-free folk their time in love employ,
And every lad doth serve with eagerness,
And every lassie doth abide in joy,
But tears have I in plenty and distress,

Because my father doeth me great ill,
And causeth me full often bitterest rue,
Since he would marry me against my will
And I have neither heart nor mind thereto.
Thus in great misery I pass the hours,
Nor am I comforted by leaves and flowers.

RUSTICO DI FILIPPO, 1235-1295

We thought. He'd worked a miracle indeed,

HEN God created Messer Messerin'

He thought He'd worked a miracle indeed,
Goodwill of bird and beast and man to win
He took a hint from every kind of breed :
His throat was modelled in a duckling's way,
His limbs were the giraffe's to contemplate,
Human he was, at least that's what they say,
According to his cheery crimson pate.

He seemed a crow when he began to sing,
In learning he was certainly an ass,
And, judging by his dress, he was a man.
Him God created when it came to pass
He'd nothing else to do and hence did plan
To prove His skill creating this strange thing!

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