La bella donna che cotanto amavi.
TO HIS BROTHER GERARDO, ON THE DEATH OF A LADY TO WHOM HE WAS ATTACHED.
The beauteous lady thou didst love so well
Too soon hath from our regions wing'd her flight,
To find, I ween, a home 'mid realms of light;
So much in virtue did she here excel
Thy heart's twin key of joy and woe can dwell
No more with her--then re-assume thy might,
Pursue her by the path most swift and right,
Nor let aught earthly stay thee by its spell.
Thus from thy heaviest burthen being freed,
Each other thou canst easier dispel,
And an unfreighted pilgrim seek thy sky;
Too well, thou seest, how much the soul hath need,
(Ere yet it tempt the shadowy vale) to quell
Each earthly hope, since all that lives must die.
The lovely lady who was long so dear
To thee, now suddenly is from us gone,
And, for this hope is sure, to heaven is flown,
So mild and angel-like her life was here!
Now from her thraldom since thy heart is clear,
Whose either key she, living, held alone,
Follow where she the safe short way has shown,
Nor let aught earthly longer interfere.
Thus disencumber'd from the heavier weight,
The lesser may aside be easier laid,
And the freed pilgrim win the crystal gate;
So teaching us, since all things that are made
Hasten to death, how light must be his soul
Who treads the perilous pass, unscathed and whole!