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النشر الإلكتروني

Quando tu vaga parli, o lieta canti

Che mover possa duro alpestre legno,

Guardi ciascun a gli occhi, ed a gli orecchi L'entrata, chi di te si trouva indegno;

Gratia sola di su gli vaglia, inanti
Che'l disio amoroso al cuor s'invecchi.

III.

Qual in colle aspro, al imbrunir di sera

L'avezza giovinetta pastorella
Va bagnando l'herbetta strana e bella

Che mal si spande a disusata spera
Fuor di sua natia alma primavera,

Cosi Amor meco insù la lingua snella
Desta il fior novo di strania favella,

Mentre io di te, vezzosamente altera,
Canto, dal mio buon popol non inteso

E'l bel Tamigi cangio col bel Arno.

Amor lo volse, ed io a l'altrui peso
Seppi ch' Amor cosa mai volse indarno.

Deh! foss'il mio cuor lento e'l duro seno
A chi pianta dal ciel si buon terreno.

CANZONE.

Ridonsi donne e giovani amorosi

M'accostandosi attorno, e perche scrivi,
Perche tu scrivi in lingua ignota e strana
Verseggiando d' amor, e come t'osi ?
Dinne, se la tua speme sia mai vana,
E de pensieri lo miglior t'arrivi ;
Cosi mi van burlando, altri rivi

Altri lidi t'aspettan, ed altre onde
Nelle cui verdi sponde
Spuntati ad hor, ad hor a la tua chioma
L’immortal guiderdon d'eterne frondi
Perche alle spalle tue soverchia soma ?

Canzon dirotti, e tu per me rispondi
Dice mia Donna, e 'l suo dir, é il mio cuore
Questa e lingua di cui si vanta Amore.

IV.

DIODATI, e te 'l dirò con maraviglia,

Quel ritroso io ch'amor spreggiar soléa
E de suoi lacci spesso mi ridéa

Gia caddi, ov' huom dabben talhor s'impiglia.
Ne treccie d'oro, ne guancia vermiglia

M'abbaglian sì, ma sotto nova idea
Pellegrina bellezza che 'l cuor bea,

Portamenti alti honesti, e nelle ciglia
Quel sereno fulgor d'amabil nero,

Parole adorne di lingua piu d' una,

E’l cantar che di mezzo l' hemispero
Traviar ben puo la faticosa Luna,

E degli occhi suoi auventa si
Che l'incerar gli orecchi mi fia poco.

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V.

PER certo i bei vostri occhi, Donna mia

Esser non puo che non sian lo mio sole
Si mi percuoton forte, come ei suole

Per l'arene di Libia chi s'invia,
Mentre un caldo vapor (ne sentì pria)

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Da quel lato si spinge ove mi duole,
Che forse amanti nelle lor parole

Chiaman sospir ; io non so che si sia :
Parte rinchiusa, e turbida si cela

Scosso mi il petto, e poi n'uscendo poco

Quivi d'attorno o s'agghiaccia, o s'ingiela ;
Ma quanto a gli occhi giunge a trovar loco

Tutte le notti a me suol far piovose
Finche mia Alba rivien colma di rose.

VI.

GIOVANE piano, e semplicetto amante

Poi che fuggir me stesso in dubbio sono,
Madonna a voi del mio cuor l'humil dono

Fard divoto; io certo a prove tante
L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante,

De pensieri leggiadro, accorto, e buono;
Quando rugge

il gran mondo, e scocca il tuono,
S'arma di se, e d'intero diamante :
Tanto del forse, e d'invidia sicuro,

Di timori, e speranze, al popol use,

Quanto d'ingegno, e d'alto valor vago,
E di cetia sonora, e delle muse :

Sol troverete in tal parte men duro
Ove Amor mise l'insanabil ago. 1

VII. ON HIS BEING ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF TWENTY

THREE.

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,

Stoln on his wing my three and twentieth year !
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.

1 Cowper has very elegantly translated these sonnets.

Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,

That I to manhood am arriv'd so near ;
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,

That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,

It shall be still in strictest measure even

To that same lot, however mean or high,
Toward which Time leads me, and the Will of Heaven;

All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.

VIII. WHEN THE ASSAULT1 WAS INTENDED TO THE

CITY.

CAPTAIN, or Colonel, or Knight in arms,

Whose chance on these defenceless doors may seize,
If deed of honour did thee ever please,

Guard them, and him within protect from harms.
He can requite thee; for he knows the charms

That call fame on such gentle acts as these,
And he can spread thy name o'er lands and seas,

Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms.
Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower:

The great Emathian conquerour2 bid spare

The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower
Went to the ground: And the repeated 3 air

Of sad Electra's poet had the power
To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.

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1 Assault :' by Charles I., in 1642.—2 « Conquerour :' Alexander the Great.

* Repeated :' When Lysander took Athens, it was proposed to raze the city entirely; but a Phocian repeated some lines of Euripides which induced him to modify his sentence.

IX. TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY.

LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth

Wisely hast shunn'd the broad way and the green,
And with those few art eminently seen,

That labour up the hill of heavenly truth,
The better part with Mary and with Ruth

Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,

No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fix'd, and zealously attends

To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,

And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends

Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hast gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.

X. TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY.1

DAUGHTER to that good Earl, once President

Of England's Council and her Treasury,
Who liv'd in both, unstain'd with gold or fee,

And left them both, more in himself content,
Till the sad breaking of that Parliament

Broke him, as that dishonest victory
At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,
Kill'd with report that old man eloquent. 2

1 • Lady Margaret Ley:' the daughter of Sir James Ley, whose singular learning and abilities raised him through all the great posts of the law, till he came to be made Earl of Marlborough, and Lord High Treasurer, and Lord President of the Council to King James I. He died in an advanced age. Milton attributes his death to the breaking of the Parliament; and it is true that the Parliament was dissolved the 10th of March 1628-9, and he died on the 14th of the same month. Lady Margaret was married to Captain Hobson, Isle of Wight.- Old man eloquent:' Isocrates, the orator. The victory was gained by Philip of Macedon over the Athenians.

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