If far from the cherished loving light . . . Se lunge da gli amati e cari lumi
If far from the cherished loving light of
your beautiful Amaryllis, you live,
my lord, forever in pain and grief;
from her eyes she pours forth bitter rivers:

what she gazes at seems shadowy vapour,
obscure and black, and she often says: "how
you've hurt our chaste and hallowed love; I
consume my life remembering your grief

Has not my endless sorrow, pardon me,
has not my life been enough, but God must
stint me further, take all pleasure, you from me?

If you love me, seek to soften overwhelming
grief, put some limit on bitter sorrow:
from you alone I may expect all comfort."

Se lungi dagli amati e cari lumi
de la bella Amarilli in doglia e 'n pianto,
Signor, sempre vivete, ella altrettanto
sparge per voi dagli occhi amari fiumi,

e cị che mira le par ombre e fumi
oscuri ed atre, e spesso dice: "Ahi! Quanto
offendi 'l nostro amor pudico e santo
e 'l viver mio col tuo dolor consumi!

Non basta ben che per mia doglie eterna
anzi tempo di vita ha il Cielo avaro
tolto il mio dopo te sommo diletto?

Peṛ se m'ami, e se mia doglia interna
cerchi addolcir, pon freno al duolo amaro,
che da te solo ogni conforto aspetto."


Rizzardi 12:12; Chiapetti 12:14; 1995 Bullock 33:92-93.. For Key see A Note on the Italian texts


The second of two poems to Alfonso D'Avalos, Marquis Del Vasto. Again most commentators have suggested that this is Gambara speaking not for herself, but for Maria D'Aragona, Del Vasto's wife, and this poem prompted Vasto's "Lunge da quegli amati e cari lumi". Bullock goes along with this interpretation; see 1995 Bullock p. 93n. I disagree on which poem is a response to which and think Gambara's poem was written in response to "Lunge da quegli amati e cari lumi" which is itself Del Vasto's response to Là dove or d'erbe adorna ambe le sponde.

I also suggest that Amaryllis" may not be Maria d'Aragona. Finzi in a note at the back of his book says that "according to some writers, there is evidence to suggest that Amaryllis is not the wife of Del Vasto, although she was beloved." He comments: "The fact is believable, given the mores of the period, but there is nothing which authorizes us sufficiently to say these assertions are historically so. Here is the Italian: "Secondo alcuin scrittori, 'Amarilli' non era la moglie Del Marchese, benś l'amante. Il fatto è credibile, data i tempi; ma nulla ci autorizza a concludere storicamente in tal senso." I suggest there is something unaccounted for going on here. With the evidence of Gambara's other love poems before and after her marriage, I suggest Gambara may have been writing for and of herself. There is a real argument for reading Gambara's poems two poems to Del Vasto as love poetry to which he responded in (enigmatic) kind. There is, however, also some enigmatic evidence in the Colonna correspondence, that Del Vasto was involved with other women, and at one point, Vittoria Colonna brings Maria d'Aragona to him in an effort to impregnate her; this evidence suggests the woman referred to under the pseudonym Amaryllis was not respectable, not an aristocrat. See also Gambara's poem to Maria D'Aragona: Donna gentil, che cosi largamente ("Gentle lady, to whom Heaven has been so/generous").

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