Look, Peter's weary small boat, by wild winds Mira, Signor, la stanca navicella
Look, Peter's weary small boat, by wild winds
driven, wandering, through this fierce tempest
she mourns, grieves. Dear God, hear, help her:
See how lost and bewildered as she's lashed

back and forth across the waters, she cries,
pitifully, so sad, for aid. And have You
allowed her all this while to be pursued
by these malignant, these indifferent stars?

Like a ship without a pilot, a church
without a shepherd cannot sustain its flocks,
as the one is struck by wave after wave,
the other is harrassed, hunted and then

destroyed by wolves. Dear God, provide for us;
be kind to someone who knowing the worst.
can still bring a ship safely into port.

Mira, Signor, la stanca navicella
di Pietro, che, nel mar da fieri venti
spinta, va errando, e par che si lamenti
di questa fluttŁosa e ria procella.

Mira che sola in questa parte e in quelle,
smarrita, corre, e con dogliosi accenti
Ti dimanda soccorso, e Tu consenti
che fin or passa in lei nemica stella?

Nave senza nocchier, senza pastore
non puÚ star gregge, che da l'onde l'una
l'altro Ť da lupi travagliato e morto;

Signor, dunque, provedi, e il Tuo favore
spira a chi sappia in la maggior fortuna
questa barca condur felice in porto.


Pungileoni 27; Chiappetti I:349; 1995 Bullock 66:167. Previous translation: Stortoni & Lille 38-39. For Key see A Note on the Italian texts


This is a prayer for a better pope. Chiapetti dated it 1534: Chiapetti quotes a line in a letter by Gambara to Arostino Ercolani after Clement VII's death. Bullock connects the poem to lines in a letterwritten by Gambara's letter to her stepdaughter in 1549 after Pope Paul III had died: Gambara wishes for "un bon pastore, si come l'ho pregato in questo sonetto."
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