Capitolo 4

Veronica Franco

(A response to Franco from an unnamed writer.)

Your concern for another was far stronger than for me,
and though I begged you humbly for mercy,
I still remained under a lonely roof.
You chose to go elsewhere, I stayed alone,
as your will and my cruel fate decreed,
so that I envied the most wretched creatures.
And if it's now the case that my heavy grief
makes you, repentant, suffer some pain,
it's right that I, loving you, take comfort from it.
So for me pity's fire is not entirely spent,
that pity which, wherever it dwells,
gives visible proof of a gentle soul......

My suffering is sweet when it is most intense,
if, as it seems from your pitying speech,
you feel pain and grief for my woe.
But that you love as much as I do you
is impossible, for my burning flame
has no equal in the kingdom of love.
Heaven too kindly consents to my longing
if the flame that escaped from my heart
thaws the ice of your cold mind.
In you I don't seek affection so strong
that it makes one of two and two of one,
and to transfix two with a single stroke........

[ll. 10-21, 34-45; pp. 79-81]

If you have any suggestions or questions regarding these poems please email me

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