Canzone: In this moment, cut off from my haven Canzone: Mentre la nave mia, lungi dal porto

1

In this moment, cut off from my haven
deprived of my pilot who is with God,
my ship withdraws from the troubled waters
round this rock
from evils which have gone on for such a
long time,
so that I can briefly comfort myself,
by telling simply and passionately
a few of the causes of my sadness,
and of grief other proud women have born,
from their enemies--chance, and ruthless love--
I'll match the hurt famous women have known--
yes, all too familiar in this world--with
my ingrained fear to see if the havoc
is comparable, or if I'm alone
in my torment.

2

Penelope and Laodameia--
to me they represent married love in
all its candid and honest desire
I see one waiting, widow-like, for years,
another in the terror of parting--
who breathed in passion as others breathe air--
living with evil, always denied food,
yet hope moderated the wife's mourning,
and death released the young girl left behind;
I find no proof of everlasting loss,
my hope doesn't fade; suicide cannot
obliterate my soul's inward torment--
time strengthens my grief and this desire.

3

I hear Ariadne and Medea,
wandering from place to place, estranged, grieving
from fierce love and weak faith, lacerating
themselves uselessly---but if for so serving
such men,
the reward was hard, evil kindnesses,
their own scorn and cruelty swept away
their pain;
my heart is destitute of all save his
presence, the light of my life when he lived,
someone true to confide in, unswerving,
dead he is become pervasive sorrow
and passion
I ache for him, and when I am in those
places where we were together I can
barely stand the pain; I never scorned him,
no hope or fear, no pain or pleasure could
alienate me from him, my reason for
existence since I was a little girl.

4

Since Portia's loss was supreme I picture
her when I revert to bitter crying;
I feel I'm reliving her agony,
yet hers was brief, lasted the breathing out
of one sigh; while mine is in my heart's blood
and the very air, yet my deep need, my
craving for serenity by his side
outweighs this endless deadly ache--and so
I pause--but not because I fear hell or
eternal punishment because I'm afraid
I'll end up far from him.

5

I see others, a thousandfold, pass by,
so many different types, some true in love,
some false, yet all lost hope when happiest,
not when they thought they knew the worse, at their
nadir,
but enough comparisons. Maybe he
would laugh while fueling the fire. Why
read of shameful or justified sorrow,
of easy betrayals, violent deaths?
And all over so quickly--the shallow
affect to despise,
the wild destroy life, which both turn into
pure pain and then bring to an abrupt end.

6

It makes no sense to think on these books or
tell old tales of the anguish of women,
nor compare myself with modern despair,
since I am beneath those famous women--
childless--
am I foolish to see myself mirrored
in fires everywhere? ah, but my pain
is of the phoenix--my Sun will always
live inside and set fire to my soul
enclose me, shelter me, and reinforce
a barrier which enables me to
disdain
lesser stars, from his place in Paradise
he teaches me to live and to endure;
thus, in the midst of evil, I sustain
this humble body.

And so, I let you go, dear lines, alone
to find your way among those who gave up;
tell them my pain is unconquerable;
the cause? what he does to me makes fire
my nectar, and tears, my ambrosia.

1

Mentre la nave mia lunge dal porto,
Priva del suo nocchier che vive in cielo,
Fugge l' onde turbate in questo scoglio,
Per dare al lungo mal breve conforto;
Vorrei narrar co puro acceso zelo
Parte della cagione ond'io mi doglio;
E 'l peso di color, che dall'orgoglio
Di foturna il valore in alto vola;
Uguagliando al mortal mio grave affanno,
Veder se maggior danno
Diletto e libertade ad altra invola,
O s'io son nel otrmento al mondo sola.

2

Penelope e Laodomia un casto ardente
Pensier mi rappresenta: e veggio l'una
Aspettar molto in dolorose tempre,
E l'altra avre con le speranze spente
Il desir vivo e d'ogni ben digiuna
Convenirle di mal nodrirsi sempre.
Ma par la speme a quella di duol contempre,
Questa il fin lieto fa beata; ond'io
Non veggio il danno lor mostrarsi eterno.
E 'l mio tormento interno
Non raffrena sperar n toglie oblio,
Ma col tempo il mio duol cresce e 'l desio.

3

Arianna e Medea dogliose, erranti,
Sento di molto ardir, di poca fede
Dolersi, in van biasmando il proprio errore.
Ma se il volubil ciel gl'infidi amanti
Diero a tanto servir aspra mercede;
Disdegno e crudelt tolse il dolore.
E 'l mio bel sol continua pena e ardore
Manda dal ciel co' rai nel miser petto
Di fiamma oggi e di fede albergo vero:
N sdegno unqua il pensiero,
N speranza o timor, pena o diletto,
Volse dal primo mio divino oggetto.

4

Porzia sopra ad ogni altra mi rivolse
Tanto al suo danno, che sovente insieme
Piansi l'acerbo martir nostro uguale.
Ma se breve ora forse ella si dolse,
Quant'io sempre mi doglio, poca speme
D'altra vita miglior le diede alt'ale.
E 'l mio grave dolor vivo e immortale
Siede nel core, e dell'alma serena
Vita immortale questa speranza toglie
Forza all'ardite voglie;
N pur questo timor d'eterna pena,
Ma d'ir lunge al mio sol la man raffrena.

5

Poscia accese di veri e falsi amori
Ir ne veggio mill'altre in varia schiera,
Ch'a miglior tempo lor fugg la spene.
Ma basti vincer questi altri e maggiori,
Ch'a tanti pareggiar mia fiamma altera
Forse sdegn quel sol che la sostiene;
Ch quante io leggo indgne o giuste pene,
Da mobil feder o impetuosa morte,
Tutte spente le scorgo in tempo breve;
Animo fiero e leve
Apr allo sdegno od al furor le porte,
E f le vite alle lor voglie corte.

6

Onde a che volger pi l'antiche carte
De' mali altrui, n far dell'infelice
Schiera moderna paragone ancora,
Se inferior nell'altra chiara parte,
E 'n questa del dolor, quasi fenice
Mi sento rinnovar nel foco ogn'ora?
Perch 'l mio vivo sol dentro innamora
L'anima accesa e la cuopre e rinforza
D;un schermo tal che minor luce sdegna,
E su dal ciel m'insegna
D'amare e sofferir: ond'ella a forza
In s gran mal sostien quest'umil scorza.

Canzon, tra' vivi qu fuor di speranza
Va sola; e d ch'avanza
Mia pena ogn'altra; e la cagion pu tanto,
Che m' nettare il foco, ambrosia il pianto.

Comments:

Although such a polished poem cannot have been completed immediately after Pescara's death, it is fitting to place it at the close of this series. It is another literary imitation, Ovidian; see Heroides, e.g., XIII: Laodamia to Protesilaus -- he deserted her by the seashore) Medea is another candid choice.

Sources:

From V, Canzone, 119-125. See also B A1:89,:47-49; R Canzone 2, 374-388

Translation:

Stortoni & Lillie 61-66.
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