Capitolo 14

Veronica Franco

(The reply to her challenge.)

No more war, but peace! and may the hate and rage,
and whatever disagreement has arisen between us
be transformed into twice as much love.
I entrust my case completely to you,
on the condition that, to end our quarrel,
we remain better friends than we ever were.
To me it's not enough that we hang up our weapons,
but to ensure peace, let attacks
be put an end to on both sides.
I am sorry that strife rose up between us;
but if disdain grows into love,
I am glad that we felt disdain for each other;
and even though reason requires of me
that I resent and avenge the injury
that you were always intent on dispensing to me,
I intend, through the use of the weapons of courtesy,
to stand up so well to this battle, unvanquished,
that in the end I am acclaimed the victor.
True love has no objection to this;
with these and never with any other weapons
every great-hearted spirit undertakes battle.
Oh, if you were willing to face me, armed yourself,
if you wanted to test, with such strength,
whether you are able to overcome me,
my state would be equal to that of Jove;
but perhaps my hope is too daring,
for it seeks to fly without wings.......


[ll. 1-25; pp. 139]




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Franco, Veronica Poems and Selected Letters.
2010 Selected Poetry
The Poets Garret
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