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Qual in colle aspro, al imbrunir di sera

L'avezza giovinetta pastorella
Va bagnando l'herbetta strana e bella

Che mal si spande a disusata spera
Fuor di sua natia alma primavera,

Cosi Amor meco insù la lingua snella
Desta il fior novo di strania favella,

Mentre io di te, vezzosamente altera,
Canto, dal mio buon popol not inteso,

E’l bel Tamigi cangio col bel Arno.

Amor lo volse, ed io a l'altrui peso
Seppi ch' Amor cosa mai volse indarno.

Deh! foss' il mio cuor lento e'l duro seno
A chi pianta dal ciel si buon terreno.

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RIDONSI donne e giovani amorosi

M'accostandosi attorno, e perche scrivi,
Perche tu scrivi in lingua ignota e strana
Verseggiando d'amor, e come tosi?

1. Qual in colle aspro, al im- are closed with rhyming couplets" brunir di sera] To express the T. Warton. approach of evening, the Italians

* It is from Petrarch, that say, fu l'imbrunir. And thus Milton mixes the Canzone with Petrarch, Imbrunir veggio la the Sonetto. Dante regarded the

sera.” Canz. xxxvii. See note Canzone as the most perfect on the word imbrown, in Par. species of lyric composition. Lost, b. iv. 246. T. Warton.

Della Volg. Eloqu. c. iv. But 3. Va bagnando l'herbetta for the Canzone he allows more &c.). See Petrarch's Canzone, laxity than for the Sonnet. He xxxvii.

says, when the Song is written Da bagnar l'herbe, &c.

on a grave or tragic subject, it is

denominated Canzone, and when Of Milton's Sonnets, only this, on a comic, cantilena, as dimi. the fourth, fifth, and sixteenth, nutive. T. Warton.


Dinne, se la tua speme sia mai vana,
E de pensieri lo miglior t arrivi;
Cosi mi van burlando, altri rivi
Altri lidi t'aspettan, ed altre onde
Nelle cui verdi sponde
Spuntati ad hor, ad hor a la tua chioma
L'immortal guiderdon d'eterne frondi
Perche alle spalle tue soverchia soma?

Canzon dirotti, e tu per me rispondi
Dice mia Donna, e'l suo dir, é il mio cuore
Questa e lingua di cui si vanta Amore.



Diodati, e te'l dirò con maraviglia,

Quel ritroso io ch'amor spreggiar soléa
E de suoi lacci spesso mi ridéa

Gia caddi, ov’huom dabben talhor s'impiglia.
Ne treccie d'oro, ne guancia vermiglia

M' abbaglian sì, ma sotto nova idea
Pellegrina bellezza che'l cuor bea,


pagne, &c.

7. altri rivi

of whom more will be said hereAltri lidi t'aspetlan, ed altre after. T. Warton.

onde, &c.] An echo to a stanza in Ariosto, 5. Ne treccie d'oro, ne guancia Orl. Fur. xxxiv. 72.


M'abbaglian sì, &c.] Altri fiami, altri laghi, altre com

So in Comus, v. 752. Altri piani, altre valli altre montagne,

What need a vermeil tinctur'd lip for &c.


Love-darting eyes, and tresses like See Lycidas, v. 174.

the morn?

And on the Death of a fair In. Where other groves, and other shores along, &c.

fant, v. 5.

-That lovely dyc The lady implied in the Ita- That did thy check envermeil. lian Sonnets is perhaps Leonora,

T. Warton.


Portamenti alti honesti, e nelle ciglia Quel sereno fulgor d'amabil nero,

Parole adorne di lingua piu d'una,

E’l cantar che di mezzo l'hemispero
Traviar ben puo la faticosa Luna,
E degli occhi suoi auventa si gran

fuoco Che l'incerar gli orecchi mi fia poco.


Per certo i bei vostri occhi, Donna mia

Esser non puo che non sian lo mio sole
Si mi percuoton forte, come ei suole



8. Portamenti alti honesti,] So cie d'oro, nor the bloom so conbefore, Sonn. iii. 8. “ Vezzosa- spicuous in fair-haired “mente altera.” Porlamento ex- plexions, guancia vermiglia ; but presses the lofty dignified de- with the nelle ciglia Quel sereno portment, by which the Italian fulgor d'amabil nero, the degli poets constantly describe female occhi si gran fuoco. I would add beauty; and which is strikingly the E'l cantar, unless that was a characteristic of the composed particular compliment to his Le majestic carriage of the Italian

The dark hair and eye ladies, either as contrasted with of Italy are now become his new the liveliness of the French, or favourites. When a youth of the timid delicacy of the English. nineteen, in his general descripCompare Petrarch's first Sonnet tion of the English Fair, he on the Death of Laura. Sonn. celebrates Cupid's golden nets of ccxxix.

hair, l. i. el. i. 60. And in Obime, il bel viso! Ohime, il soave

Comus, beauty is characterized sgardo!

by vermeil-tinctured cheeks, and Ohime, il portamento leggiadro altiero! tresses like the morn. T. Warton. Our author appears to have ap

2. -non sian lo mio sole plied this Italian idea of a

grace- Si mi percuoton forte,] ful solemnity in his description So Ariosto, Orland. Für. c. viii. of Eve.

20. Milton, as it may be seen from

Percotc il sol ardente il vicin colle. these Sonnets, 'appears to have been struck, on going into Italy, And P. L. iv. 244.

new idea of foreign - Where the morning sun beauty, sotto nova idea Pelle- warmly smote

grina Bellezza." He is now no The open field. longer captivated with the brec- Where see the note. T. Warton.

with a



Per l'arene di Libia chi s'invia,
Mentre un caldo vapor (ne sentì pria)

Da quel lato si spinge ove mi duole,
Che forse amanti nelle lor parole

Chiaman sospir; io non so che si sia :
Parte rinchiusa, e turbida si cela

Scoffo mi il petto, e poi d'uscendo poco

Quivi d' attorno o s'agghiaccia, o singiela ;
Ma quanto a gli occhi giunge a trovar loco

Tutte le notti a me suol far piovose
Finche mia Alba rivien colma di rose.




GIOVANE piano, e semplicetto amante

Poi che fuggir me stesso in dubbio sono,
Madonna a voi del mio cuor l'humil dono

Faro divoto; io certo a prove tante
L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante,

De pensieri leggiadro, accorto, e buono;
Quando rugge il gran mondo, e scocca il tuono,

S’arma di se, e d'intero diamante,
Tanto del forse, e d'invidia sicuro,

Di timori, e speranze al popol use

Quanto d'ingegno, e d'alto valor vago,
E di cetta sonora, e delle muse:

Sol troverete in tal parte men duro
Ove Amor mise l'insanabil ago.f


* The forced thoughts at the Canto, dal mio buon popol non inteso, close of this Sonnet are intolera- E'l bel Tamigi cangio col bel Arno. ble. But he was now in the

T. Warton. land of conceit, and was infected by writing in its language. He + Milton had a natural sehad changed his native Thames verity of mind. For love-verses, for Arno, Sonn. iii. 9.

his Italian Sonnets have a re


On his being arrived to the age of 23.* How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,

Stol'n on his wing my three and twentieth year!

markable air of gravity and dig- as yet obscure and unservicenity. They are free from the “ able to mankind) and that the metaphysics of Petrarch, and day is at hand, wherein Christ are more in the manner of Dante. « commands all to labour while Yet he calls his seventh Sonnet, “ there is light: which because in a Letter printed from the “ I am persuaded you do to no Cambridge manuscript by Birch, “other purpose than out of a a composition in the Petrarchian “ true desire that God should be stanza.

“ honoured in every one, I am In 1762, the late Mr. Thomas “ ever ready, you know, when Hollis examined the Laurentian

o occasion is, to give you aclibrary at Florence, for six Ita- “ count, as I ought, though unlian Sonnets of Milton, addressed asked, of my tardy moving to his friend Chimentelli; and, according to the precept of my for other Italian and Latin com

“conscience, which I firmly positions and various original “ trust is not without God. Yet letters, said to be remaining in now I will not strain for any manuscript at Florence. He set apology, but only refer searched also for an original myself to what my mind shall bust in marble of Milton, sup- “ have at any time to declare posed to be somewhere in that “ herself at her best ease. Yet city. But he was unsuccessful if you think, as you said, that in his curious enquiries. T.

“ too much love of learning is Warlon.

« in fault, and that I have given

up myself to dream away my * This Sonnet was made in years in the arms of studious 1631, and was sent in a letter to “ retirement, like Endymion a friend, who had importuned “ with the moon on Latmus hill; the author to take orders; of yet consider, that if it were no which letter there two more but this, to overcome draughts in his own Manuscript, “ this, there is on the other side and the former runs thus.

“ both ill more bewitchful to

“ entice away, and natural years SIR,

more swaying, and good more “ Besides that in sundry re- « available to withdraw to that “ spects I must acknowledge me “ which you wish me; as first

to profit by you whenever we “ all the fond hopes which for

meet, you are often to me, and “ ward youth and vanity are “ were yesterday especially, as “ fledged with, none of which

a good watchman to admonish can sort with this Pluto's hel. “ that the hours of the night met, as Homer calls it, of ob.

pass on (for so I call my life scurity, and would soon cause


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