To conquer the shrewdest proudest of kings, Vincere i cor pił saggi e i re pił alteri
To conquer the shrewdest proudest of kings,
To subjugate by arms, to free through peace,
to give, to take away freedom as you please,
kind to the humble, hard to the violent,

the honors others have are illusions
compared to yours, you who have set the world
on fire with your torch, you who dislike
a shadow of error, a thought of vice,

a prince is born to unite a firm mind
with an unalterable will, to dwarf
those whose courage yields to fortune's evils.

your glittering prizes are on earth
in heaven a splendor beyond all these,
here brilliant with honor, there radiant with love.

Vincere i cor pił saggi e i re pił alteri,
Legar con l'arme o scioglier con la pace,
Dargli e tor libertą, quando a voi piace,
Esser dolce a gli umķli, acerbo ai fieri,

Che pagan falsi appo de' vostri veri
Gli onori altrui, che di virtł la face
Viva si accesa in voi, che ancor vi spiace
De l'error l'ombra e del vizio i pensieri,

Nasce, Signor, da unir la salda mente
Con l'eterno voler, far poco stima
Che ceda al suo valor l'empia fortuna

Onde sarą la gloria vostra prima
In terra, e l'alma in ciel sovra ciascuna,
Quella d'onor, questa d'amore ardente.


Rizzardi 8:8; Chiapetti 8:10. Translation (as if by Colonna) McAuliffe 199. It also occurs as by Colonna in MS Arrivabene 1550; Cor, Ve2, V1, Pr, Ra (1982 Bullock's edition of Colonna's Rime). For Key see A Note on the Italian texts


I have placed this first in a series of poems by Gambara to Charles I. Rizzardi (p 82, nVI) suggests it could be by Colonna as it appears in a collection under the name of Colonna (together with "Quella felice stella, e in ciel fatale" and "Quel che di tutto il bel ricco Oriente"), but he opts for Gambara, and Chiapetti followed suit. It does sound like Colonna and the anti-worldiness of the stance is very like hers; however, Visconti did not include it as by Colonna in his 1840 edition. Recently Chimenti has discussed it as by Gambara, Chimenti, p. 38. I am reserving judgement and leaving it in Gambara's column for now. For details see my notes On Alan Bullock's attribution to Vittoria Colonna of three poems hitherto attributed to Veronica Gambara.
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