Unbind and weave into your golden hair Sciogli le trecce d'oro, e d'ogn'intorno
Unbind and weave into your golden hair
waving in the breeze myrtle and laurel,
beautiful Venus, create sweet concord,
a restorative time for these lovers.

And you, sacred Hymen, who everywhere
sing with noble heart-stirring poetry
with golden plectrum, vermilion roses
and purple flowers honor this proud day.

And you, oh great gods who govern mortals,
with full hands give us lilies, and scatter
joy, peace, tenderness, love and constancy.

May the sweet kisses and joyful hours
of this time spent -- just you two together --
be such that no other gifts come near this.

Sciogli le trecce d'oro e d'ogni intorno
cingi le tempie de' tuoi mirti e allori,
Venere bella, e teco i santi Amori
faccian concordi un dolce almo soggiorno;

e tu, sacro Imeneo, cantando intorno
di vaghe rose et di purpurei fiori,
col plettro d'oro in versi alti e sonori
rendi onorato question altero giorno.

E voi tutti, o gran dei, che de' mortali
sete al governo, a man piena spargete
gioia, pace, dolcezza, amore, e fede,

acciò che i casti baci e l'ore liete
spese tra due siano felici, e tali
che dar non possa il Cielo altra mercede.


Rizzardi 24:25; Chiapetti 21:27; 1995 Bullock 35:94-95. Previous translations: Poss 6; Stortoni and Lille 36-37. For Key see A Note on the Italian texts


Poss mentions that Gambara's allusion to Virgil's description of the "ritual scattering of lilies by Anchises for the doomed Marcellus" ("Manibus date lilia plenis/purpureos spargam flores) was repeated by Dante (Purgatorio, 30:21) when the angels welcomed Beatrice and said goodbye to Virgil: "the line becomes a tag for ritual celebration with a qualifying sadness at leaving something behind."

It is not certain whom this was written for; traditionally it is thought to have been written in 1529 and in honor of her brother Brunoro Gambara's wedding to Virginia Pallavicino, widow to Ranuccio Farnese, son to the later Pope Paul III. See Courten for more details (pp. 41, 130); also 1995 Bullock's commentary, variants, and paraphrase, pp. 94-95n. Chimenti links Brunoro's wedding to Veronica's time in Bologna; Brunoro had just been appointed a negotiator by Charles V. According to a letter dated 20 March 1529 by Bembo to Uberto, the wedding was a luxurious affair and took place in the early months of 1529. See Chimenti, p. 42.

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