Canzone: Of his Dead Lady

Death , why hast thou made life so hard to bear,
Taking my lady hence? Hast thou no whit
Of shame? The youngest flower and the most fair
Thou hast plucked away, and the world wanteth it.
O leaden Death, hast thou no pitying?
Our warm love's very spring
Thou stopp'st, and endest what was holy and meet;
And of my gladdening
Mak'st a most woful thing,
And in my heart dost bid the bird not sing
That sang so sweet.

Once the great joy and solace that I had
Was more than is with other gentlemen: —
Now is my love gone hence, who made me glad.
With her that hope I lived in she hath ta'en
And left me nothing but these sighs and tears, —
Nothing of the old years
That come not back again,
Wherein I was so happy, being hers.
Now to mine eyes her face no more appears,
Nor doth her voice make music in mine ears,
As it did then.

O God, why hast thou made my grief so deep?
Why set me in the dark to grope and pine?
Why parted me from her companionship,
And crushed the hope which was a gift of thine?
To think, dear, that I never any more
Can see thee as before!
Who is it shuts thee in?
Who hides that smile for which my heart is sore,
And drowns those words that I am longing for,
Lady of mine?

Where is my lady, and the lovely face
She had, and the sweet motion when she walk'd? —
Her chaste, mild favour — her so delicate grace —
Her eyes, her mouth, and the dear way she talk'd? —
Her courteous bending — her most noble air —
The soft fall of her hair? . . .
My lady — she to whom my soul
A gladness brought!
Now I do never see her anywhere,
And may not, looking in her eyes, gain there
The blessing which I sought.

So if I had the realm of Hungary,
With Greece, and all the Almayn even to France,
Or Saint Sophia's treasure-hoard, you see
All could not give me back her countenance.
For since the day when my dear lady died
From us, (with God being born and glorified,)
No more pleasaunce
Her image bringeth, seated at my side,
But only tears. Ay me! the strength and pride
Which it brought once.

Had I my will, beloved, I would say
To God, unto whose bidding all things bow,
That we were still together night and day:
Yet be it done as His behests allow.
I do remember that while she remain'd
With me, she often called me her sweet friend;
But does not now,
Because God drew her towards Him, in the end.
Lady, that peace which none but He can send
Be thine. Even so.
Author of original: 
Giacomino Pugliesi
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