Capitolo 25

Veronica Franco Under Revision

(In praise of Fumane, the villa belonging to Count Marcantonio Della Torre, Canon of Verona.)

On one hand, I'd prefer never to have been
in that beautiful place only to leave,
as I did, before I'd properly arrived.
How burdensome a good thing can become,
given that the greater it is, the more grief
is born in us when we must leave it behind:
the pfeasure we enjoyed flies quickly away;
and giving no thought to past benefit,
we sadly remember only what we've lost.
And yet on the other hand I wouldn't want
not to have seen such a beautiful dwelling,
gracious and beloved to tranquility.
And, though I have not enjoyed it to the full,
the more I had, the more I'd have cherished it,
and the more leaving it would have brought me regret.
Even so, forming a bittersweet thought,
I return in memory to the infinite delights
that were there revealed to me:
I have that fair site always before my eyes,
and though absent from it in body,
in my mind I still dwell there, never departing.
Within me my soul feels wholly reborn
when such a joyful heaven on earth
presents itself for her contemplation.
My spirit, never quitting this place,
recalls its endless beauties again and again,
vanquished and conquered by the highest pleasure.
And while my eager spirit perceives these delights,
in it's own joy it brings pain to my senses........

[ll. 1-29; pp. 253]

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