Canzoniere/Poem I

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Voi, ch' ascoltate in rime sparse il suono


      Ye who in rhymes dispersed the echoes hear
    Of those sad sighs with which my heart I fed
    When early youth my mazy wanderings led,
    Fondly diverse from what I now appear,
    Fluttering 'twixt frantic hope and frantic fear,
    From those by whom my various style is read,
    I hope, if e'er their hearts for love have bled,
    Not only pardon, but perhaps a tear.
    But now I clearly see that of mankind
    Long time I was the tale: whence bitter thought
    And self-reproach with frequent blushes teem;
    While of my frenzy, shame the fruit I find,
    And sad repentance, and the proof, dear-bought,
    That the world's joy is but a flitting dream.


      O ye, who list in scatter'd verse the sound
    Of all those sighs with which my heart I fed,
    When I, by youthful error first misled,
    Unlike my present self in heart was found;
    Who list the plaints, the reasonings that abound
    Throughout my song, by hopes, and vain griefs bred;
    If e'er true love its influence o'er ye shed,
    Oh! let your pity be with pardon crown'd.
    But now full well I see how to the crowd
    For length of time I proved a public jest:
    E'en by myself my folly is allow'd:
    And of my vanity the fruit is shame,
    Repentance, and a knowledge strong imprest,
    That worldly pleasure is a passing dream.


      Ye, who may listen to each idle strain
    Bearing those sighs, on which my heart was fed
    In life's first morn, by youthful error led,
    (Far other then from what I now remain!)
    That thus in varying numbers I complain,
    Numbers of sorrow vain and vain hope bred,
    If any in love's lore be practised,
    His pardon,--e'en his pity I may obtain:
    But now aware that to mankind my name
    Too long has been a bye-word and a scorn,
    I blush before my own severer thought;
    Of my past wanderings the sole fruit is shame,
    And deep repentance, of the knowledge born
    That all we value in this world is naught.


Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


This work was published before January 1, 1924 and it is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 97 years or less since publication.