Canzonetta: He Will Neither Boast nor Lament to His Lady

Love will not have me cry
For grace, as others do;
Nor as they vaunt, that I
Should vaunt my love to you.
For service, such as all
Can pay, is counted small;
Nor is it much to praise
The thing which all must know;--
Such pittance to bestow
On you my love gainsays.

Love lets me not turn shape
As chance or use may strike;
As one may see an ape
Counterfeit all alike.
Then, lady, unto you
Be it not mine to sue,
For grace or pitying.
Many the lovers be
That of such suit are free,--
It is a common thing.

A gem, the more 'tis rare,
The more its cost will mount:
And, be it not so fair,
It is of more account.
So, coming from the East,
The sapphire is increased
In worth, though scarce so bright;
I therefore seek thy face
Not to solicit grace,
Being cheapened and made slight.

So is the colosmine
Now cheapened, which in fame
Was once so brave and fine,
But now is a mean gem.
So be such prayers for grace
Not heard in any place;
Would they indeed hold fast
Their worth, be they not said,
Nor by true lovers made
Before nine years be past.

But when i turned about
Saying, "God keep you well!"
As she look'd up, I thought
Her lips that were quite pale
Strove much to speak, but she
Had not half strength enough:
My own dear graceful love
Would not let go of me.

I am not so far, sweet maid,
That now the old love's unfelt:
I believe Tristram had
No such love for Yseult:
And when I see your eyes
And feel your breath again,
I shall forget this pain
And my whole heart will rise.
Author of original: 
Jacopo da Lentino
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