Capitolo 11

Veronica Franco

(By an unknown author, in praise of Verona, where Franco is staying.)

Truly, fair Verona, you are one of a kind,
now that my gentle Veronica
beautifies you with her unique beauty.
She, who's never had an equal or peer,
Adria's nymph now with her fair face
brings you in midwinter an April full of joy;
the sun of her face and the stars of her eyes
and the calm serenity of her sweet laugh
turn you, indeed, to a heaven on earth;
but the brilliant intellect that the heavenly Mover
gave her, in his image, united
with her other beautiful qualities,
so far surpasses all those other gifts
that our human vision cannot reach far enough
to perceive such great virtue at such a distance.
The bodily eye can scarcely bear
the splendor of her brow; beholding it,
human sight becomes dazzled and dazed:
this lady of mine, gently turning around,
sets the air all about her to sparkling
and banishes tempests and clouds far away.
The gleam of her eye bedecks the world
with roses and violets, and with her,
gay, everlasting spring comes to stay.......

[ll. 1-24; pp. 119]

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