Capitolo 18

Veronica Franco Under Revision

(To a friend asking for help:)

Most illustrious sir, the capitolo
that I came yesterday to show you
was not, in fact, my own invention;
but nonetheless I can't thank you enough
for warning me that in your opinion
I should not send it to that friend;
and I am grateful to you for advising me
about what I ought to do
when I call on you to correct my verses.
I am greatly indebted to heaven
for the protection of someone like you,
and from you I receive more than I deserve.
Jealousy, which enrages my heart,
made me write what I did not say,
but the pain and anger came from my lord.
He first told me what to write,
and later he added many things
so that I should not suspect him.
I don't know what the truth in this matter is,
but I confess that I feel myself dying of pain
at not having him nearby at all hours:
and my heart persuades me to send him the verses
I composed for this reason, with the excuse
of sending him greetings written last night.
I ask your kindness to help me revise them
and so lead my lover to come back to me
and to transform his scorn into pity;
please keep yesterday's other verses,
and later I'll do with them what you wish;
and as long as my lover shows that he's become humble,
I will resign myself to all other harm..........

[ll. 1-31; pp. 181]

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