Leave me, foolish ideas and useless hopes Ite, pensier fallaci e vana spene
Leave me, foolish ideas and useless hopes,
blind, voracious and hot desires,
Leave me, eager ardour -- bitter thoughts,
ever companioned with this ceaseless poison;

Leave me, sweet memories, rough corrosive
chain; even now my heart unshackles herself,
all that's in her welcomes reason's hard curb:
so lost for a time, freedom's a relief.

And you, poor soul, so overwhelmed by fears,
released at last: turn to God; with a seemly
pride restore your mind to what it was.

Compel fate, break the snares, crack fate's wall;
then light, free and nimble you'll simply walk
away from harm into a safer path.

Ite, pensier fallaci e vana spene,
Ciechi, ingordi desiri, accese voglie;
Ite, sospiri ardenti, acerbe doglie,
Compagni sempre a le mie eterne pene;

Ite, memorie dolci, aspre catene
Al cor che pur da voi or si discioglie,
E 'l fren de la ragion tutto raccoglie,
Smarrito un tempo, e 'n libertà ne viene.

E tu, povr' alma in tanti affanni involta,
Slégati omai, e at tuo Signor divino
Leggiadramente i tuoi pensier rivolta;

Sforza animosamante il fier destino,
E i lacci rompi; e poi leggiera e sciolta
Rivolgi i passi a un più sicur cammino.


As by Gambara: Rizzardi 28:42; Chiapetti 24:44. Previous translation (as by Gambara): Poss 62. Costa found it in an MS in a Paduan Seminary (p 30). For Key see A Note on the Italian texts


Bullock disputes any certain attribution to Gambara. he is probably right. Several scholars and critics have assigned the above sonnet to Veronica Franco, among them, Benedetto Croce, Franceso Flora, and Abdelkader Salza (in a 1913 edition of the poems of Gaspara Stampa and Veronica Franco Salza reprints the sonnet as Franco's). See also Georgina Masson, The Courtesans of the Italian Renaissance (London: Secker and Warburg, 1975), p. 166; ABullock, "Per Una Edizione Critica", p. 111-112.

However, there is a tradition of attribution to Gambara in which the poem is printed with Ne la secreta e più profonda parte" ("In the heart's secretest recesses"). In studies of Franco, it does not appear that this profound remorse is at all typical of Franco's vein; Franco also has few sonnets. See for example, Margaret F. Rosenthal, The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen and Writer in Sixteenth-Century Venice (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992) and Ann Rosalind Jones, The Currency of Eros: Women's Love Lyric in Europe, 1540-1620 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990); it may, however, be a poem in which Franco is following a popular trope which most English readers will be familiar with from Philip Sidney's "Leave me, O love which reachest but to dust."

I reprint and translate the sonnet here as probably by Franco but of interest as it was part of a tradition of attribution to Gambara. It has influenced the characterization of her as deeply religious; see, e.g., Finzi, p. 28

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