The hard rock that can take a blow and laugh La dura pietra che percossa riede
The hard rock that can take a blow and laugh
glitters, sparkles with the lights I long for
La dura pietra che percossa riede
Scintellando le fiamme desiate.


1524, around August/September. Castriota says VC sent a sonnet to her husband after the time of the death of Prospero Colonna. This occurred when Pescara had taken Colonna's place, had become an important captain, was with Bourbon, and had distinguished himself in southern France. She "cried and laughed" when she heard of his behavior and wrote a now lost sonnet which is translated above.

Visconti says the context is rather that VC wrote this sonnet during the summer of 1525 to incite her husband to remain faithful to Charles V quotes the lines differently:

La viva selce, che percossa rende
Scintellando le fiamme desiate

MRoscoe (p. 335) translates Visconti's text thus: The live coal, which struck, gives out sparkling the desired flames.

Castriota's is the correct text; we see here a development derived from VC's motto, her picture of herself as the juniper tree rooted in rock which does not shatter during the worst of the tempest. She exults in his holding firm (we see her letter to Pescara counseling him to do just this) and longs to share in his sense of this as a victory.



Fourth fragment of poetry cited by Castriota, FMTordi, p. 504, with an alternate version cited by Visconti, Discorso Preliminare, XXXIV.


Roscoe 335.
Amaro Lagrimar
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