|Petrarca: Love Sonnets|
Back in the 1300's, before card stores and chocolate manufacturers all conspired to commercialize the true spirit of love, passion, and romance, Francesco Petrarca literally wrote the book on infatuation. The collection of Italian verses, Rime in vita e morte di Madonna Laura (after 1327), translated into English as Petrarch's Sonnets, were inspired by Petrarch's unrequited passion for Laura (probably Laure de Noves), a young woman Petrarca first saw in church.
Era il giorno ch'al sol si scoloraro
per la pietà del suo factore i rai,
quando ì fui preso, et non me ne guardai,
chè i bè vostr'occhi, donna, mi legaro.
Tempo non mi parea da far riparo
Trovommi Amor del tutto disarmato
Però al mio parer non li fu honore
It was the day the sun's ray had turned pale
with pity for the suffering of his Maker
when I was caught, and I put up no fight,
my lady, for your lovely eyes had bound me.
It seemed no time to be on guard against
Love found me all disarmed and found the way
It seems to me it did him little honour
Quando fra l'altre donne ad ora ad ora
Amor vien nel bel viso di costei,
quanto ciascuna è men bella di lei
tanto cresce 'l desio che m'innamora.
I' benedico il loco e 'l tempo et l'ora
Da lei ti vèn l'amoroso pensero,
da lei vien l'animosa leggiadria
When Love within her lovely face appears
now and again among the other ladies,
as much as each is less lovely than she
the more my wish I love within me grows.
I bless the place, the time and hour of the day
From her to you comes loving thought that leads,
there comes from her all joyous honesty