BILTÀ DI DONNA ... A WOMAN’S CHARMS ...
Guido Cavalcanti tr. A.S.Kline
Biltà di donna, e di saccente core,
e cavalieri armati che sien genti,
cantar d’augelli e ragionar d'amore,
adorni legni ’n mar forte correnti,

aria serena quand’ appar l’albore,
e bianca neve scender senza venti,
rivera d’acqua e prato d’ogni fiore,
oro e argento, azzurro ’n ornamenti,

ciò passa la beltate e la valenza
de la mia donna e’l su’ gentil coraggio,
si che rassembra vile a chi cio guarda.

E tant’ a più d’ogn’altra canoscenza,
quanto lo cielo de la terra è maggio:
A simil di natura ben non tarda.
A woman’s charms, her perceptive heart
Men-at-arms filled with courtesy;
The song of birds, love’s reasoning art;
Ships ploughing through a swelling sea;

A gentle breeze in the dawn hours
A windless fall of whitest snow;
A flowing river, meadows all of flowers;
Jewels, silver, lazuli and gold:

Are outweighed in beauty and in worth
By my lady, and her sweet bravery,
That none would be deceived to see her;

And greater than the heavens exceed the earth,
Her heart’s knowledge does exceed the many.
So virtue is drawn to what is like in nature.

Click here 1 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © A.S.Kline 2007


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