I find a refuge in your bright eyes
Vero albergo d'Amor, occhi lucenti
I find a refuge in your bright eyes
love of me, so fragile, and firm support:
to you I run again, always to you,
I come for peace from all that torments me.

In the shining kindness of your eager eyes
each anxiety, all austere self-contempt
takes flight -- you fill my heart with joy, peace,
there's no place for the least painful thought.

Blest eyes, from you alone comes all
a good God or a benign fate could give:
therefore be more courteous and gentle,

be welcoming when I come to you:
and with how beautiful you are, you'll free
my heart of this bitterness that kills me.

Vero albergo d'Amor, occhi lucenti
del frale viver mio fermo sostegno:
a voi ricorro ed a voi sempre vegno
per dar qualche riposo a' miei tormenti;

ch'al fulgurar de' vostri raggi ardenti
fugge ogni affanno, ogni gravoso sdegno,
e di tal gioia poi resta 'l cor pregno
che loco in me non han pensier dolenti.

Da voi solo procede, occhi beati,
tutto quel ben ch'in questa mortal vita
darmi può 'l Cielo o mia benigna sorte;

siatemi dunque più cortesi e grati,
e col splendor de la beltà infinita
liberate il mio cor d'acerba morte.


Ruscelli-VG 4:3; Rizzardi 13:13; Chiapetti 13:15; 1995 Bullock 22:80-81. Costa also found this in a MS in Laurenziana in Firenze, see Costa 28n. For Key see A Note on the Italian texts


Again to her husband. For a long commentary, variants and paraphrase see 1995 Bullock pp. 80-1n. Bullock remarks that the kinds of misreadings this text has been subject to in reprintings show embarrassment at its intensity; repeatedly in Gambara's poems a less "excessive" reading is chosen. For an instance of this embarrassment see Courten 22. She wants to find some infuence from Bembo or Petrarch to account for it.

Mario Marcazzan provides a remarkable close reading of the poem in "Veronica Gambara et i sonetti degli 'occhi luccenti,'" Romanticismo Critico e Coscienza Storica (Firenze: Casa Editrice Marzocco, 1948), pp. 112-14. He criticizes it (and Gambara's other poems centering on the imagery of eyes and addressed to her husband) of dullness, of using stereotypical clichés, but says it is the very limitation, the intense heavy repetitions of the medium that make for the intensity of what Gambara expresses.

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