Friday, December 2, 2011

"A ciascun'alma presa e gentil core" by Dante Alighieri

A ciascun’alma presa e gentil core
nel cui cospetto ven lo dir presente,
in ciò che mi rescrivan suo parvente,
salute in lor segnor, cioè Amore.
Già eran quasi che atterzate l’ore
del tempo che onne stella n’è lucente,
quando m’apparve Amor subitamente,
cui essenza membrar mi dà orrore.
Allegro mi sembrava Amor tenendo
meo core in mano, e ne le braccia avea
madonna involta in un drappo dormendo.
Poi la svegliava, e d’esto core ardendo
lei paventosa umilmente pascea:
appresso gir lo ne vedea piangendo.

English translation by Dino S. Cervigni and Edward Vasta:

To every captive soul and gentle heart
into whose regard shall come the present words,
so that they in return may inscribe their views,
greeting in their lord, who is Love.
Almost had passed a third of the hours
of the time in which to us every star shines,
when to me appeared Love suddenly,
the memory of whose being gives me terror.
Joyous to me seemed Love, holding
my heart in hand, and in his arms he had
my lady wrapped in a cloth asleep.
Then he wakened her, and this burning heart
to the frightened one he humbly fed:
afterward I saw him turn away weeping.

Source of the text – Dante Alighieri, Vita Nuova, edited and translated by Dino S. Cervigni and Edward Vasta. Notre Dame: The University of Notre Dame Press, 1995, pp. 50-51.

Bourguignomicon: After an elaborate epistolary opening we receive Dante’s vision: Love, which brings terror; joy, then weeping; & of course, an edible heart.

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