Boiardo Tarocchi Poem: Chapter 1 - Timore

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For commentaries and discussion (which includes comments about translation problems, please see the Discussion page (or click on the 'discussion' tab above).

A summary of general translation problems will also later be found on the general page:
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Italian original: Timor

COMINCIANO CINQUE CAPITULI

BELLISSIMI SOPRA IL TIMORE,

GELOSIA, SPERANZA, AMORE, DEL

CONTE MATHEO MARIA BOIARDO


CAPITULO I (TIMOR) (Flagelli)


1) TIMOR un'alma tien tanto dubiosa

Ch'ella ha poca ragion(1) di viver lieta,

Qual mai non gode e sempre è paurosa.


2) TIMOR, dov'è(2) qualche pericol, vieta

Pigliar piacere, e tanto un om fa vile,

Che l'animo ragion mai non acquieta.


3) TIMOR tremar fa l'agnel ne l'ovile

Se di fuor sente il lupo, e si sta chiuso,

Che appena intrar gli puo il vento sottile.


4) TIMOR quattro destrier d'un carro a l'uso

Sotto una virga tiene a un giogo stretti;

E molti in servitu, che non gli excuso.


5) TIMOR ci tien talor, che i nostri effetti

Non possiam dimostrar, ché assai ne offende,

Che compagni al timor sono i rispetti.


6) TIMOR fa sempre che un non si(3) difende,

Ma supplice ai contrasti se dimostra

E senz'arme adoprar vinto se rende.


7) TIMOR se tu ti accosti a armati in giostra

La lor virtu sarà sotto te morta;

Dove tu sei, sempre la fronte il mostra.


8) TIMOR obturba(4) i sensi, e faccia smorta

Rende, e tremito il cor per lui si sente,

E l'occhio il mostra con sua vista torta.


9) TIMOR non ha sol, di quel ch'è presente,

Dubbio: ma teme, ben che sia lontano,

Il periculo, e a sé pargli imminente.


10) TIMOR de certo è a imaginarlo vano,

E dove timor regna, ognun concorre

Che invalido quel corpo sia e mal sano.


11) TIMOR Fineo fra gli omini una torre

Converse in saxo col Meduseo volto,

Ché a' timidi fortuna non soccorre.


12) TIMOR Ptolemeo re, subito volto

Ebbe contra Pompeo, sol per paura

Che Cesar non gli avesse il regno tolto.


13) TIMOR non lasso Andromeca secura

Del figlio, visto Ulixe: e intrar lo fece

Del patre Ector entro la sepultura.


14) TIMOR Dyonisio del tonsore in vece

Uso le proprie figlie, cum carboni

Per fugir ferro; e al fin non fugi nece.


Ché mal se fugge quel che 'l ciel dispone.

English Translation: Fear

HERE BEGIN THE FIVE MOST

BEAUTIFUL CHAPTERS ON FEAR,

JEALOUSY, HOPE, AND LOVE, OF

COUNT MATTEO MARIA BOIARDO


CHAPTER I (FEAR) (WHIPS)


1) FEAR keeps a soul is such doubts

That it has little reason to live happily,

Because it never enjoys and is always afraid.


2) FEAR, where there is some danger, forbids

All pleasure, and makes a man so faint-hearted,

That reason can never appease the soul.


3) FEAR makes the lamb tremble in the fold

If it hears the wolf outside; and it stays so enclosed,

That the subtlest breeze can hardly reach it.


4) FEAR keeps four horses at the service of a chariot

Under a cane, tied to a yoke;

It also keeps many in servitude, whom I do not excuse.


5) FEAR so grips us sometimes, that we cannot

Express our feelings, which is a great damage,

Because respect is a fellow of fear.


6) FEAR makes so that someone never defends himself,

And in case of conflict chooses to implore

And surrenders without using his weapons.


7) FEAR: if you reach the armed men in a joust,

Their courage will be dead under your influence;

Whenever you are present, you can see it on their faces.


8) FEAR troubles the senses, and makes pale

the face; one feels his heart tremble because of it,

And the eye shows it with an oblique glance.


9) FEAR has no doubts, about what is

present: but even though it be far away, it fears

Danger, and to fear danger seems near.


10) FEAR is certainly vain when you imagine it,

And where fear reigns, everyone agrees

That that body is ill and not healthy.


11) FEAR transformed Phineas, a tower among men,

Into stone, by the face of Medusa;

But fortune does not help the timid.


12) FEAR once turned king Ptolemy

Against Pompey, merely because Ptolemy was afraid

That Caesar would have taken his kingdom away from him.


13) FEAR prevented Andromache from saving

Her son, seeing Ulysses: and made him enter

Into the same tomb as his father Hector.


14) FEAR: Dionysius, instead of a barber,

Had his own daughters shave him with coals, in order

To avoid iron; and in the end he did not avoid it.


Because it is difficult to avoid what has been decided by heaven.

For commentaries and discussion (which includes comments about translation problems, please see the Discussion page (or click on the 'discussion' tab above).
Boiardo main page.

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