Monday, 20 October 2008

Per Laura...

Back in the 1300's, before card stores and chocolate manufacturers all conspired to commercialize the true spirit of love, passion, and romance, Francesco Petrarca literally wrote the book on infatuation. The collection of Italian verses, Rime in vita e morta di Madonna Laura (after 1327), translated into English as Petrarch's Sonnets, were inspired by Petrarch's unrequited passion for Laura (probably Laure de Noves), a young woman Petrarca first saw in church.

Era il giorno ch'al sol si scoloraro
per la pietà del suo factore i rai,

quando ì fui preso, et non me ne guardai,
chè i bè vostr'occhi, donna, mi legaro.

Tempo non mi parea da far riparo
contra colpi d'Amor: però m'andai
secur, senza sospetto; onde i miei guai
nel commune dolor s'incominciaro.

Trovommi Amor del tutto disarmato
et aperta la via per gli
occhi al core,
che di lagrime son fatti uscio et varco:

Però al mio parer non li fu honore
ferir me de saetta in quello stato,
a voi armata non mostrar pur l'arco.


It was the day the sun's ray had turned pale
with pity for the suffering of his Maker
when I was caught, and I put up no fight,
my lady, for your lovely eyes had bound me.

It seemed no time to be on guard against
Love's blows; therefore, I went my way
secure and fearless—so, all my misfortunes
began in midst of universal woe.

Love found me all disarmed and found the way
was clear to reach my heart down through the eyes
which have become the halls and doors of tears.

It seems to me it did him little honour
to wound me with his arrow in my state
and to you, armed, not show his bow at all.


Χλωμή ήταν τη μέρα εκείνη η ηλιαχτίδα/θλίψη έχοντας γιά το μαρτύριο /πού την υπέβαλε ο δημιουργός της/όταν κυριεύτηκα δίχως αντίσταση κορίτσι μου,/κι'η αιτία ήταν τα πανέμορφα μάτια σου όπως με μάγεψαν.//Ουδόλως προλάβαινα να φυλαχτώ απ' τα χτυπήματα τού Έρωτα,/κι'έτσι συνέχισα άσφαλής καί άφοβος/λες καί όλα τα εμπόδια να εμφανίστηκαν /εν μέσω μιάς παγκόσμιας οδύνης.//Ο Έρωτας με βρήκε τελείως άοπλο/καί βρήκε τρόπο να φτάσει κάτω στην καρδιά μου/μέσα απ' τα μάτια που' χουν γίνει θύρες δακρύων.//Μικρή τιμή μού φαίνεται πως τού καμε/με τη σαίτα του να με πληγώσει /μα καί σε σένανε,αν κι' οπλισμένος/το τόξο του να μην σου φανερώσει.

Francesco Petrarca

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