Poetry: Sonnet by Dante Alighieri
by Dante Alighieri
Love and the gentle heart are one thing,
even as the sage affirms in his poem,
and so one can be without the other
as much as rational soul without reason.
Nature creates them when she is amorous:
Love as lord and the heart as his mansion,
in which, sleeping, he rests
sometimes a brief and sometimes a long season.
Beauty appears in a wise lady, then,
which so pleases the eyes that in the heart
is born a desire for that which pleases;
and so long it lasts sometimes therein
that it wakens the spirit of Love.
And the same to a lady does a worthy man.
*Translated from the Italian by Dino Cervini and Edward Vasta
From The Norton Anthology of World Literature vol. b