Sonnet IV

Of the Eyes of a certain Mandetta, of Thoulouse, which
resemble those of his Lady Joan, of Florence

A certain youthful lady in Thoulouse,
Gentle and fair, of cheerful modesty,
Is in her eyes, with such exact degree,
Of likeness unto mine own lady, whose
I am, that through the heart she doth abuse
The soul to sweet desire. It goes from me
To her; yet, fearing, saith not who is she
That of a truth its essence thus subdues.
This lady looks on it with the sweet eyes
Whose glance did erst the wounds of Love anoint
Through its true lady's eyes which are as they.
Then to the heart returns it, full of sighs,
Wounded to death by a sharp arrow's point
Wherewith this lady speeds it on its way.

Guido Cavalcanti
(Dante Gabriel Rossetti's translation)

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2012 Selected Poetry
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