Capitolo 6

Veronica Franco

(An answer to Franco's preceding poem, written in the same rhymes.)

Reason and love are contrary to each other,
and whoever expects to predict love's course
is bereft of wit and deprived of reason.
So there is all the more cause to value
your declaration, in which you've resolved
to hold virtue in highest esteem,
and though, in truth, I lack that quality,
my desire to possess it, with you, is strong enough
that I expect a reward for my good will:
and, if fear of my true self assails me,
it makes me hope, too, in spite of my few merits,
that it may be a blessing to choose a lesser evil.
I do not claim that I could attain,
by winning your love, sufficient virtue
to rise to such a lofty goal,
but I do know that a gallant soul,
finding a man who hates lies and follows truth,
makes her way toward him with delight:
and all the more if in a heart that's sincere
she finds affection, full of truest faith,
as in mine, which I hope to show you one day,
if powerlessness does not rein in my desires.....

[ll. 1-22; pp. 87]

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