Page:The Yellow Book - 01.djvu/260

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
The Love-Story of Luigi Tansillo

a much humbler but probably a more affectionate person, to whom he addresses no impassioned sonnets, but whom he instructs in a very elegant poem ("La Balia") how to bring up her infant children. These varying affections are depicted with extreme liveliness in a series of sonnets, of which we propose to offer some translated specimens. The order will not be that of the editions of Tansillo, where the pieces are distributed at random, but the probable order of composition, as indicated by the nature of the feeling expressed. It is, of course, impossible to give more than a few examples, though most deserve to be reproduced. Tansillo had the advantage over most Italian poets of his time of being in love with a real woman; hence, though possibly inferior in style and diction to such artists in rhyme as Bembo or Molza, he greatly surpasses them in all the qualities that discriminate poetry from the accomplishment of verse.

The first sonnet which we shall give is still all fire and rapture:—


Lady, the heart that entered through your eyes

Returneth not. Well may he make delay,
For if the very windows that display
Your spirit, sparkle in such wondrous wise,
Of her enthroned within this Paradise
What shall be deemed? If heart for ever stay,
Small wonder, dazzled by more radiant day
Than gazers from without can recognise.
Glory of sun and moon and silver star
In firmament above, are these not sign
Of things within more excellent by far?
Rejoice then in thy kingdom, heart of mine,
While Love and Fortune favourable are,
Nor thou yet exiled for default of thine.