From the French Translation of the Aminta of Tasso, "Though wee of Small Proportion see." MS F-H 283, p. 42*; MS Folger, pp. 2-3. See Annotated Chronology No. 27.

From Torches, Abb de. L'Aminte du Tasse. Pastorale. Traduite de l'Italien en Vers Francois. Edition nouvelle, revue & enrichie des Tailles douces [translation by Abb de Torches, bilingual texts with Italian facing French]. Suivant la Copie de Paris, A la Haye. Chez Levyn van Dyk. 1681, pp. 58 (the Italian) and 59 (the facing French. Cf. Torquato Tasso, Aminta, introd. M. Fubini, notes B. Macier (Milano: Rizzoli, 1976), II, i, 724-736. See also An Annotated Bibliography: Primary and Secondary Sources for all Finch's translations (paraphrases), imitations and adaptations.

This is the first of the pair of early translations from de Torches's French translation of this play. It differs considerably from the second ("Then, by some fountain's flow'ry side", see above and reprint in Reynolds, p. 119) which is a close and plain paraphrase. In this poem Finch writes witty paraphrase similar in technique to her free elaboration from Montaigne's brief "A Song of the Canibals", also included in this section as well as Finch's poem as it was copied out into the MS Finch-Hatton.

The French facing text:

Acte Second. Scene Premiere. Satyre seul.

L'Abeille est fort petite, & quand elle nous blesse
Elle picque legerement
Mais l'aguillon qu'elle nous laisse
Nous cause un sensible tourment
De tut ce qu'on voit dans le monde
Rien n'est si petit que l'Amour
Les chevaux d'une tresse blonde
Souvent le drobent au jour.
A la faveur de la paupiere,
Il cache adroitement ses traits & sa lumiere;
Mille coeurs s'y sont troubent pris;
Il n'a besoin que d'une oeillade;
Et dans cette fossette o se forme le ris
Il se peut mettre en embuscade;
Il nous fait cependant des blessures au coeur;
Qui sont profondes & mortelles.

I again include the Italian to show how far away from it is the French and Finch's Donnian or lightly metaphysical-Caroline translation:

Picciola l'Apie, e fa col picciol morso
Pur gravi, e pur coleste le ferite;
M, qual cosa pi picciola d'Amore
Se in ogni breve spatio entra, e s'asconde
In ogni breve spatio? hor, sotto l'ombra
De le palpebre, hor tr minuti rivi
D'un biondo crine, hor dentro le pozzette
Che forma un dolce riso in belle guancia;
E pur f tanto grandi, e s mortali
E cos immedicabili le piaghe
Ohim, che tutta piaga, e tutte sangue
son le viscere mie; e mille spiedi
H ne gli occhi di Silvia il crudo Amore.


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