ai Signori italiani. not Jupiter and Pallas, but Venus and Bacchus. so filled with sweetness were the wind and air. on a high hill, or deep in a marshy vale. is born the great fire in which I live and burn, Florence perhaps might have her poet today. cares neither for your force, nor any other: without the need to tack from side to side. but go naked in the wind, barefoot on thorns: now you live so that the stench rises to God. meeting the sun when he leads on the dawn. of those who have reached the other shore. Italia Mia. where her lovely feet leave their traces: who makes you proud and noble with her rays: that bathes her lovely face and her clear eyes. Under the lovely peace of her tranquil brows. How did a heart gather so much virtue to itself. Cipriano De Rore’s “Mia benigna fortuna,” and Claudio Monteverdi’s “Hor che ‘l ciel e la terra.” As a preface, it is necessary to understand the importance of Francesco Petrarca (aka Petrarch) (1304–1374) and his impact on madrigalists. though the sum of it is guilty of my death? is always before my eyes to my sweet distress: war is my state, filled with grief and anger. flaming more brightly among the dew and frost. as were shown to me in that first season: such that, trembling with the fierce light. ‘The Battle Won by Gaius Marius Against the Ambrones and Teutones’ - Relief from the Roman Triumphal Arch in Orange, J. Baugin (French, ca. women and girls with her, and they are beech and fir. Editorial note from William Fredlund: This letter was probably written in 1344 from Parma. nor keeps me to herself nor slips the noose: and Love does not destroy me, and does not loose me. But they don't. sees him, except Love, who never leaves his side. ‘Alas, what do you know! But since my ground no longer yields reeds, with the moisture from that rock, I must follow, another star, and, from my native fields, reap. Their scorn is worse, it seem to me, than their harm: more freely, as other’s anger flails you. ‘Po, ben puo’ tu portartene la scorza’, 181. It was sweet to me to be alone and unarmed there. Introduzione . ‘Lassare il velo o per sole o per ombra’ I have not seen you, lady, leave off … alla Vergine. round a hand that revealed ivory and snow. There is my heart, and she who steals it from me: from those eyes where, by what fate who knows. that Love takes no heed of the reins of reason: and he who discerns them is conquered by his desire. being only an arrow-wound, and not a spear’s. to show down here what power she has above? ‘Se la mia vita da l’aspro tormento’ If my life of bitter torment and of tears could be derided more, and made more troubled, that I might see, by virtue of your later years, lady, the light quenched of your beautiful eyes, and the golden hair spun fine as silver, and the garland laid aside and the green clothes, murmuring, running through the green grass. Rhône, Iber, Rhine, Seine, Elbe, Loire, Ebro: could lessen the fire that vexes my sad heart. His lure was the crop he reaps as well as sows. His son Cardinal Giovanni was Petrarch’s patron, another son Giacomo was Bishop of Lombez in the Pyrenees. Jupiter and Pallas represent Justice and Wisdom, Venus and Bacchus, Sensuality and Wine. by bringing others down to bread and water. like a cloud in the wind: and I am hoarse already. ‘Fiamma dal ciel su le tue treccie piova.’, 137. of what her lovely gaze does not include: so if her harshness or my stars still hurt me. Never has divine light overcome mortal vision, of the beautiful, sweet, gentle, black and white. I care for no other good, long for no other bait. of an evergreen tree that I love so much. to catch the thought, let alone in verse or rhyme: the other is not: since my lovely fire is such, she treats all equally: and he who thinks to fly. To Petrarch, Italy was the heir and successor of ancient Rome, the civilizing mission of which he glorified in his Latin epic Africa (critical edition, 1926), dealing with the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage. Ahi dispietata morte, ahi crudel vita! You, in whose hands Fortune has placed the ... Petrarch continues to dig at the Italian nobility by saying that their decision-making logic is flawed. readier than now to grant what I hope and wish. Your thoughts are arrows, and your face the sun, and desire is fire: with which joint weapons. Is this not the earth that I first touched? towards which you spur and whip me harshly. Will I ever have peace? loosed hair of such fine gold on the breeze? That day, always bitter and always honoured. counted the stars one by one, or enclosed, the waves in a little glass, as for fresh thought, to be born in me, of telling in so small a space, all places that this flower of noble beauty, remaining still herself, has scattered her light. complains aloud, and with face dry-eyed and happy. she weeps at my good fortune, laughs at my tears. This humble creature, with bear’s or tiger’s heart. that my soul is satisfied with its own error: that I ask no more than that my error last. if only too much of my sunlight were not lost. 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