TANTO GENTILE E TANTO ONESTA PARE MY LADY LOOKS SO GENTLE AND SO PURE
Dante Alighieri tr. Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Tanto gentile e tanto onesta pare
la donna mia, quand' ella altrui saluta,
ch' ogne lingua deven tremando muta,
e gli occhi no l' ardiscon di guardare.

Ella si va, sentendosi laudare,
benignamente e d'umiltà vestuta;
e par che sia una cosa venuta
dal cielo in terra a miracol mostrare.

Mostrasi sí piacente a chi la mira,
che dà per li occhi una dolcezza al core,
che 'ntender nolla può chi nolla prova.

E par che de la sua labbia si mova
un spirito soave pien d'amore,
che va dicendo a l' anima: Sospira.
My lady looks so gentle and so pure
When yielding salutation by the way,
That the tongue trembles and has naught to say,
And the eyes, which fain would see, may not endure.

And still, amid the praise she hears secure
She walks with humbleness for her array;
Seeming a creature sent from Heaven to stay
On earth, and show a miracle made sure.

She is so pleasant in the eyes of men
That through the sight the inmost heart doth gain
A sweetness which needs proof to know it by:

And from between her lips there seems to move
A soothing essence that is full of love,
Saying for ever to the spirit, "Sigh!"


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