Love goads and at the same stroke abashes

Love goads and at the same stroke abashes
me; if I hang over him desire
torments me; to stay away doesn't
help; I can find no pleasure or

comfort in life or death--it is right grief
should be my lodestar. They pointed him out,
a siren, new, god-like; in the springtime,

just of reach. His unreal beauty strengthened my
resolve to act bravely: love cared not a
jot for the hesitations of reason.

Open grief eases the intense sadness;
life on scorn's doorstep couldn't break my heart
such is the end of one who loved to die.

An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition
From V "Sonetto d'incerto autore," 429. See also B A2:5:58; in MSs Bo, MR, PA, V1, Ve2; 1538/39, 1540-2, 1552/59-60, 1760, & V in GSLI, 157 [1980], 401-2. A centone from Petrarch's Sonnet 178, "Amor me sprona in un tempo et affrena" ("Love at the same time spurs me and reins me in," Durling pp 325-6). I have translated very freely; VC's poem is bitter & enigmatic; it may be have been written before Pescara's death. I place it here as another early close literary imitation. Key

Amaro Lagrimar
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