A poem from Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta to Isotta degli Atti
Oh sweet and noble light, proud soul!
Kind being in whose worthy look
Lit by the clear, angelic glow
Of virtue all my hopes repose.
You are most high and first to me
And steer my fragile ship at sea.
My dove so innocent and pure,
You are my life’s stability.
Before you blooms and grass lie down,
Proud to be trod by your sweet foot
And ruffled by your azure robe.
Vain the sun in the early morn,
But what he sees you overcome
And pale he goes away in tears.
Translation in Hugh Bicheno, Vendetta: High Art and Low Cunning at the Birth of the Renaissance (London: Phoenix, 2009), pp. 169–70. Copyright © Hugh Bicheno, 2009. Reproduced with permission of Weidenfeld & Nicolson, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, London.