So formed by love am I, I live in
flame, a salamander in this world
like to that other beast, as strange, forlorn, who in
one place both lives and breathes the same.
All these are my delights, these joys my aim, to
live alight, all sense of pain forsworn, nor seek
from him who’s made my state so worn, his
grant of pity, great or small to claim.
Scarce were the fires of that first passion
done when love another lit, which only went
to prove itself the larger livelier one –
and of such ardent love I’ll not repent
as long as he, who my heart’s lately won, will
with my unquenched furnace rest content.
Amor m’ha fatto tal ch’io vivo in foco,
qual nova salamandra al mondo, e
quale l’altro di lei non men stranio
che vive e spira nel medesmo loco.
Le mie delizie son tutte e ’l mio gioco
viver ardendo e non sentire il male,
e non curar ch’ei che m’induce a tale
abbia di me pietà molto né poco.
A pena era anche estinto il primo ardore,
che accese l’altro Amore, a quel ch’io sento
fin qui per prova, più vivo e Maggiore.
Ed io d’arder amando non mi pento,
pur che chi m’ha di novo tolto il core
resti de l’arder mio pago e contento
Gaspara Stampa, translated by Nigel Stuart
Rime d’Amore No. 206/208* Gaspara Stampa (* depending on edition) 16th century
Nigel Stuart is a retired professor of 20th century history and a translator of epic poetry, with a secondary professional interest in renaissance Europe, in artistic practice and in film; who also writes poetry in English and in Scots.
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