Capitolo 3

Veronica Franco

(Elegiac verses written by Franco, away from Venice.)

I passed a time weighed down with grief;
and, with my spirit forced to languish,
my only real pleasure came from reciting
heavy, pain-filled lays and from weeping.
Alas, I say now and will always say
that life is cruel death to me without you,
and pleasures to me are torments and woes.
Often, as I cried aloud that dear name,
Echo, touched with pity by my lament,
answered me with brief and broken calls....

The cool roses, lilies, and violets
were burnt by the wind of my hot sighs,
and I saw the sun turn pale with pity.
Moving their eyes in tearful swirls,
the rivers stood still, and the sea quelled its rage,
through tender pity for my suffering.
Oh, how many times the trembling leaves
stood still and the breeze ceased to blow,
in order to listen to my bitter pain.
And finally, never could I make my way
through any place where I did not see
even stones weep openly for my grief.
I live, if a person can be said to live.......

[ll. 9-18, 28-40; pp. 73-75]

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Franco, Veronica Poems and Selected Letters.
2010 Selected Poetry
The Poets Garret
Tir Na nOg Poetry Community