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"From Petrarch. Lib: I: Sonett: 170"

"From Petrarch. Lib: I: Sonett: 170"


Lasso ch' i ardo, & [ed] altri non me 'l crede, &c:
['Alas because I am aflame, and some one does not believe it of me. . . .']

1 Uror io! veros at nemo credidit ignes:
2     quin credunt omnes; dura sed illa negat.
3 Illa negat, soli volumus cui posse probare:
4     quin videt, et visos improba dissimulat.
5 Ah durissima mi, sed et ah pulcherrima rerum!
6     nonne animam in misera, Cynthia, fronte vides?
7 Omnibus illa pia est, et, si non fata vetassent,
8     tam longas mentem flecteret ad lachrymas.
9 Sed tamen has lachrymas, hunc tu, quem spreveris, ignem,
10     carminaque auctori non bene culta suo
11 Turba futurorum non ignorabit amantum:
12     nos duo, cumque erimus parvus uterque cinis,
13 Jamque faces, eheu! oculorum, et frigida lingua
14     hae sine luce jacent, immemor illa loqui:
15 Infelix Musa aeternos spirabit amores,
16     ardebitque urna multa favilla mea.

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0 "From Petrarch. Lib: I: Sonett: 170" 1 Explanatory

Title/Paratext] "[Prose translation by J. R. [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"[Prose translation by J. R. Hendrickson:]
"From Petrarch"

    Ah, I am on fire! but no one has believed that the fires are real: rather, everyone (else) believes, but she, cruel she, says they are not—she it is who will not believe, and yet she is the only one that I would convince. Worse, she even sees them, and then, perverse wench, pretends that she hasn't seen them at all. Ah, lady most cruel to me! But, for all your cruelty, fairest of women! Can you not see my soul, Cynthia, in my downcast face?
    Kind she is to all; and surely, if the Fates had not forbidden, she would ere this have softened her heart in response to the tears that have been flowing for so long.
    But at least the future throng of lovers will not be ignorant of these tears, this fire that you scorn, and the songs ill suited to their author; as for us two, when we shall some day each have become a handful of ashes—then, alas, the fires of my eyes will lie devoid of light and my cold tongue will forget how to speak: but the ill-fated Muse will still breathe eternal loves, and many a spark will glow in my urn."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 142.

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Lasso ch' i ardo, & [ed] altri non me 'l crede, &c:
['Alas because I am aflame, and some one does not believe it of me. . . .']

1 Uror io! veros at nemo credidit ignes:
2     quin credunt omnes; dura sed illa negat.
3 Illa negat, soli volumus cui posse probare:
4     quin videt, et visos improba dissimulat.
5 Ah durissima mi, sed et ah pulcherrima rerum!
6     nonne animam in misera, Cynthia, fronte vides?
7 Omnibus illa pia est, et, si non fata vetassent,
8     tam longas mentem flecteret ad lachrymas.
9 Sed tamen has lachrymas, hunc tu, quem spreveris, ignem,
10     carminaque auctori non bene culta suo
11 Turba futurorum non ignorabit amantum:
12     nos duo, cumque erimus parvus uterque cinis,
13 Jamque faces, eheu! oculorum, et frigida lingua
14     hae sine luce jacent, immemor illa loqui:
15 Infelix Musa aeternos spirabit amores,
16     ardebitque urna multa favilla mea.

Works cited

  • The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966.

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Contractions, italics and initial capitalization have been largely eliminated, except where of real import. Initial letters of sentences have been capitalized, all accents have been removed. The editor would like to express his gratitude to library staff at Pembroke College, Cambridge, at the British Library, and at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, for their invaluable assistance.