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Petrarch, "IF LOVE DOES NOT EXIST"


S'amor non è, che dunque é què i' sénto?
Ma s'ègli é amór, per Dio, che cósa, e quale?
Se buòna, ond' é 'l èffettó aspro e mortale?
Se ria; ond' é sí dolce ògni tormènto?


S' a mia vóglia ardo; ónd' è 'l pianto e 'l lamènto!
S' a mal mio grado'; il lamentar che vale?
O viva mórte, o dilettòso male,
Còme puói tanto in mè, s'io nòl cónsénto?


E s'io 'l cònsénto; a gran tórto mi dóglio.
Fra sè contrári vénti in fragil barca
Mi tróve in alto mar senza govérno.

Sí liéve di savèr, d'erròr di carca,
Ch' i' medèsmo nòn só quèl ch' io mi vòglio;
E trémo a mézza state, ardéndo il vérno.



CANTICUS TROILI



"If no love is, O God, what fele I so?
And if love is, what thing and which is he?
If love be good, from whennes cometh my woo?
If it be wikke, a wonder thynketh me,
When every torment and adversite
That cometh of hym may to me savory thinke,
For ay thurst I, the more that ich it drynke.

"And if that at myn owen lust I brenne,
From whennes cometh my waillynge and my pleynte?
If harm agree me, wherto pleyne I thenne?
I noot, ne whi unwery that I feynte.
O quike deth, O swete harm so queynte,
How may of the in me swich quantite,
But if that I consente that it be?

"And if that I consente, I wrongfully
Compleyne, iwis. Thus possed to and fro,
Al sterelees withinne a boot am I
Amydde the see, bitwixen wyndes two,
That in contrarie stonden evere mo.
Allas, what is this wondre maladie?
For hote of cold, for cold of hote, I dye."
(Tr 1. 400-420)

 

For glossary and notes see The Riverside Chaucer.

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Last modified: May 5, 2006
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Gold Texts on this page prepared and maintained by L. D. Benson (ldb@wjh.harvard.edu)