Your serenity dissolves the dark thoughts A l'ardent desio che ognor m'accende
Your serenity dissolves the dark thoughts
which hurt me. I lack that ardent longing
your presence induces in me to follow
that46. journey's path into Paradise.

Now, since your sunlight shines from within me,
I come behind you, my faithful teacher,
on that path, enabled, to go where and
do what I've not the strength to do alone.

I drive out appetite, base passions, long
since spent. My soul shall feed only on truth,
integrity, and rare enacted ideals;

Sweet man, most dear, highly respected, loved
from your noble warmth and aspirations,
eternal fame and true splendor are born.

A l'ardente desio ch'ognor m'accende
di seguir nel camin ch'al Ciel conduce
sol voi mancava, o mia serena luce,
per discacciar la nebbia che m'offende.

Or, poiché 'l vostro raggio in me risplende,
per quella strada ch'a ben far ne induce
vengo dietro di voi, fidato duce,
che 'l mio voler più oltra non si stende.

Bassi pensieri in me non han più loco;
ogni vil voglia è spenta, e sol d'onore
e di rare virtù l'alma si pasce,

dolce mio caro ed onorato foco,
poscia che dal gentil vostro calore
eterna fama e vera gloria nasce.


Rizzardi V:106-108; Chiapetti 30:50; 1995 Bullock 36:95.. For Key see A Note on the Italian texts


To Bembo. Bembo's reply:
Quel dolce suon, per cui chiaro s'intende
quanto raggio del ciel in voi riluce,
nel laccio, in ch'io già fui, mi riconduce
dopo tant'anni e preso a voi me rende.

Sento la bella man, che'l nodo prende
e strigne sì, che 'l fin de la mia luce
mi s'avincina e, chi di fuor traluce,
né rifugge da lei né si difende:

ch'ogni pena per voi gli sembra gioco,
e 'l morir vita; ond'io ringrazio Amore,
che m'ebbe poco men fin da le fasce,

e'l vostro ingegno, a cui lodar son roco,
e l'antico desio, che nel mio core,
qual fior di primavera, apre e rinasce.
The above text is taken from Prose e Rime di Pietro Bembo, ed. Carlo Dionisotti, No. CXXIII, pp. 607-8; it may also be found in Rizzardi, p. 63; Chiapetti, p. 65; Guerrini-VG, p. 370; Courten, p. 55. As will be seen the rhymes repeat those of Gambara. I supply a paraphrase in English: "That sweet harmony which makes me understand how brightly the light of paradise has been renewed in you, seduces me back into that snare, where I have already been, so many years ago, catches me, and makes me yours./I feel the beautiful hand take and tie the knot so tightly that I see my days near their end; my transparent soul cannot flee or defend himself from this hand:/every pain seems a game to you and death a form of life; therefore I thank Love which brought near to the end of life (?)/and your genius which I am too hoarse to praise and the old desire in my heart which flower of spring is opened and reborn."

Early Gambara scholars have thought that she sent this sonnet to Pietro Bembo with a letter dated April 7, 1529. But Dionisotti argued convincingly that Bembo wrote his reply around March 1530, and sent it to her in a letter from Padua dated April 1, 1530. For variants, further commentary and parphrase see 1995 Bullock 36:95-96n. For some intelligent commentary on the relationship between Bembo and Gambara as evidenced in their letters as well as exchanges in verse, see Giorgio Dilemmi in his "Ne Videatur Strepere Anser Iner Olores", Veronica Gambara e la Poesia del Suo Tempo, pp. 29-31. He describes the two meeting after many years; her intensity and desire to be recognized as his pupil; and his smooth courtesy and kindness in response -- which she (probably naturally) overreads.

The poem is another which has been misattributed to Vittoria Colonna (beginning with the 1539 Rime; see ABullock ""Veronica o Vittoria?", p. 116).

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