Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
In Tears
By Lorenzo de’ Medici (1449–1492)
 
Translated by William Roscoe

AH, 1 pearly drops, that pouring from those eyes
  Spoke the dissolving cloud of soft desire!
  What time cold sorrow chilled the genial fire,
  Struck the fair urns and bade the waters rise;
Soft down those cheeks, whose native crimson vies        5
  With ivory whiteness, see the crystals throng;
  As some clear river winds its stream along,
  Bathing the flowers of pale and purple dyes,—
While Love, rejoicing in the amorous shower,
  Stands like some bird, that after sultry heat        10
  Enjoys the drops, and shakes his glittering wings,—
Then grasps his bolt, and, conscious of his power,
  ’Mid those bright orbs assumes his wonted seat,
  And thro’ the lucid shower his living lightning flings.
 
Note 1. Mr. Roscoe points out that Spenser (Lodowick Bryskett) has a passage similar to this sonnet in his Mourning Muse of Thestylis
  “The blinded archer boy,
  Like lark in shower of rain,
Sat bathing of his wings,
  And glad the time did spend
Under those crystal drops
  Which fell from her fair eyes,
And at their brightest beams
  Him proyn’d in lovely wise.”
  Warton in his observations on the “Fairy Queen” (vol. i., p. 223) has traced this passage to Ariosto—
  “Così a le belle lagrime le piume
Si bagna amore, e gode al chiaro lume,”
though he thinks Spenser’s verses bear a stronger resemblance to those of Nic. Archias (or the Count Nicolo d’Arco, a Latin poet of the 16th century):—
  “Tum suavi in pluvia nitens Cupido,
Insidebat, uti solet volucris,
Ramo, vere novo, ad novos tepores
Post solem accipere ætheris liquores
Gestire et pluviæ ore blandiendo.”
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