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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
To the Princess Lucretia
By Torquato Tasso (1544–1595)
 
While Sojourning with Her and her Husband at Casteldurante

Negli anni acerbi

Translation of Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen

THOU, lady, in thine early days
  Of life didst seem a purple rose,
That dreads the suitor sun’s warm rays,
  Nor dares its virgin breast disclose;
But coy, and crimsoning to be seen,        5
Lies folded yet in leaves of green.
 
Or rather (for no earthly thing
  Was like thee then), thou didst appear
Divine Aurora, when her wing
  On every blossom shakes a tear,        10
And spangled o’er with dewdrops cold,
The mountain summits tints with gold.
 
Those days are past; yet from thy face
  No charm the speeding years have snatched,
But left it ripening every grace,        15
  In perfect loveliness, unmatched
By what thou wert, when, young and shy,
Thy timid graces shunned the eye.
 
More lovely looks the flower matured,
  When full its fragrant leaves it spreads;        20
More rich the sun, when, unobscured,
  At noon a brighter beam it sheds:
Thou, in thy beauty, blendest both
The sun’s ascent and rose’s growth.
 
 
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