Capitolo 19;
(Franco puzzles over her feelings for an old love)

You went away to foreign peoples,
and I stayed behind, the prey of that fire
which, without you, made my days black and sad;
but as the hours progressed, little by little,
I resolved to make a virtue of my need,
and to make room in myself for other concerns.
This was the true solution to my pain:
in this way my mind discovered at last
a cure for its deep and serious wounds;
your departure for foreign lands
mended the blow, although the scar
could not be completely erased.

Perhaps I would have been happy and glad
if I could have enjoyed you to my heart's content,
and perhaps I'd have been unhappy instead.
The great excess of happiness
might have transformed the highest joy
into cruel, burdensome pain;
and if you'd gone, leaving me behind
at a time so full of such delight,
my distress would have had no end.
So heaven refused to make my hours
joyful and serene, to avoid reducing me
soon after to the worst, most bitter pain.
And I, freed by heaven to such a degree,
must remain content; and yet I'm not able
to hope that the opposite had not occurred.

- Veronica Franco

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