Boiardo Tarocchi Poem: End

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Veggio il mio error, pur il commun inganno

Sieguo, e stimo il mio fallo assai minore,

Ché errar con la piu parte è mancho errore

Che sol salvarsi in un publico danno.

Gli homini veggio che ingannando vanno

Lor stessi, in farsi parer corte l’ore:

Onde, per far l'inganno anchor magiore,

Questo gioco ho composto e i' stesso il danno.

Perché altro non è lui che sproni, anci ale

Che 'l tempo è tanto pretioso e caro,

Via manda, come corda d'archo un strale.

Ma poi che a traer quel non è riparo,

E il fuggir tedio è instincto naturale,

Scusomi anch'io si da natura imparo.


I see my error, but I follow

The common deception, and I esteem this to be a small fault,

Because being wrong together with the majority of people is better

Than saving oneself in case of a public damage.

I see men go deceiving themselves

And try to make hours seem short to them:

So, in order to make the deception even greater,

I have made this game, and I am the first to condemn it.

Because there is nothing else to spur it, but wings

That time, which is so precious and dear,

Sends away, like the string of a bow sends an arrow.

But since there is no way to stop it,

And escaping tedium is a natural instinct,

I excuse myself for learning from nature.

There is a difficulty with this verse. I follow Viti, because the general meaning of the sonnet seems clearer:

Lor stessi in farsi tal hor tor l'honore: (Viti: Lor stessi, in farsi parer corte l’ore:)

And let their honour be taken from them: (And try to make hours seem short to them)

With Viti, the first tercine is less obscure. Still, those verses are not clear to me.

The overall meaning is: the poet sees that looking for pastimes is a common error, and chooses to follow the other people in this error. He has invented this card game, which is a pastime. Time is like an arrow: you cannot stop it. Let's learn from nature and follow the natural instinct of avoiding boredom.