Tuesday 9 April 2019

Petrarch Sonnet 132 in English translation

S’amor non è, che dunque è quel ch’io sento?
Ma s’egli è amor, perdio, che cosa et quale?
Se bona, onde l’effecto aspro mortale?
Se ria, onde sí dolce ogni tormento?

S’a mia voglia ardo, onde ’l pianto e lamento?
S’a mal mio grado, il lamentar che vale?
O viva morte, o dilectoso male,
come puoi tanto in me, s’io no ’l consento?

Et s’io ’l consento, a gran torto mi doglio.
Fra sí contrari vènti in frale barca
mi trovo in alto mar senza governo,

sí lieve di saver, d’error sí carca
ch’i’ medesmo non so quel ch’io mi voglio,
et tremo a mezza state, ardendo il verno.

Were this not love, what is it I am feeling?
If love it be, dear God, what is its essence?
If good, whence comes its bitter, deadly presence?
If ill, why is each torment so appealing?

If I would burn, why tears and such lamenting?
If I am evil, is then grief capricious?
O living death, O evil so delicious,
How come you fill me without my consenting?

Should I consent, mistaken is my wailing.
On high seas in my frail bark quite ungoverned
Conflicting winds cause me to slide and slither,

So light in knowledge, so with error burdened,
Not knowing what I wish my constant failing –
I burn in winter and in summer shiver.

To see the translation by Geoffrey Chaucer, go to here.

No comments: