ERA IL GIORNO ... (Canzoniere, 3) IT WAS THE DAY ...
Francesco Petrarcatr. Alan Crosier
Era il giorno ch’al sol si scoloraro
per la pietà del suo factore i rai
quando i’ fui preso, et non me ne guardai,
ché i be’ vostr’occhi, donna, mi legaro.

Tempo non mi parea da far riparo
contra colpi d’Amor: però m’andai
secur, senza sospetto; onde i miei guai
nel commune dolor s’incominciaro.

Trovommi Amor del tutto disarmato
et aperta la via per gli occhi al core,
che di lagrime son ratti uscio et varco:

però al mio parer non li fu honore
ferir me de saetta in quello stato,
a voi armata non mostrar pur l’arco.
It was the day the sun made dim his rays
in piety, to mourn his Maker’s fate.
And I? My captor’s meek confederate:
because your eyes - so lovely! - fixed my gaze.

Not time, thought I, for thrusts and counterplays
against Love’s blows: I did not hesitate,
but, careless, fell - within this sorry state,
while general grieving gripped those solemn days.

Love had found me helpless, all unarmed,
and stormed my heart through widely opened eyes:
defenceless! Now with tears they overflow.

This I think Love’s honour quite belies:
myself, unguarded, by his arrow harmed;
but you, well walled, not even shown the bow.

Trans. Copyright © Alan Crosier 2004


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