If my heart were more constant, less eager

If my heart were more constant, less eager
my song more sweet, my desire less real
than those of Orpheus, I could never
build my sanity on such doubtful hope,

nor is it in me to seek martyrdom
among a lost abandoned people,
how should I quiet their fury and rage,
my Sun does not dwell among their shadows.

But if it is of any use to hope
in fragile myths, the sun-filled chariot
of Phaeton, Icarus' feathers better

fit my unworthy aim to be taken
near the dazzling light where he waits, so he
may teach me how swiftly to fly to him.

An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition
From VXLIX:49. See also B A1:36:21; R XCIIII:27. In response to a sonnet by Antonio Tebaldeo. See AB, "Vittoria Colonna e I Lirici Minori del Cinquecento," GSLI 157 (1980), 388 ("Donna che in cima d'un scoglio aspro altero", Lady on the cliff of a proud rough rock"): he invites VC to stop mourning "Pescara"; she is an Eurydice capable of redeeming her husband from "quel regno tetro" (that dark realm) with her poetry. Key

Amaro Lagrimar
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