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Samuel Waddington, comp. The Sonnets of Europe. 1888.

“Love is but one thing with the gentle heart”

Dante Alighieri (1265–1321)

Translated by Charles Eliot Norton
From the “Vita Nuova”

LOVE is but one thing with the gentle heart,

As in the saying of the sage we find.

Thus one from other cannot be apart,

More than the reason from the reasoning mind.

When Nature amorous becomes, she makes

Love then her Lord, the heart his dwelling-place,

Within which, sleeping, his repose he takes,

Sometimes for brief, sometimes for longer space.

Beauty doth then in modest dame appear

Which pleaseth so the eyes, that in the heart

A longing for the pleasing thing hath birth;

And now and then so long it lasteth there,

It makes Love’s spirit wide awake to start;

The like in lady doth a man of worth.