Guido Guinicelli (13th century)

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He Will Praise His Lady

Yea, let me praise my lady whom I love:
Likening her unto the lily and rose:
Brighter than morning star her visage glows;
She is beneath even as her Saint above;
She is as the air in summer which God wove
Of purple and of vermilion glorious;
As gold and jewels richer than man knows.
Love's self, being love for her, must holier prove.
Ever as she walks she hath a sober grace,
Making bold men abashed and good men glad;
If she delight thee not, thy heart must err.
No man dare look on her, his thoughts being base:
Nay, let me say even more than I have said;--
No man could think base thoughts who looked on her.

Translated by D. G. Rossetti.

Of Moderation and Tolerance

He that has grown to wisdom hurries not,
But thinks and weighs what Reason bids him do
And after thinking he retains his thought
Until as he conceived the fact ensue.
Let no man to o'erweening pride be wrought,
But count his state as Fortune's gift and due.
He is a fool who deems that none has sought
The truth, save he alone, or knows it true.
Many strange birds are on the air abroad,
Nor all are of one flight or of one force,
But each after his kind dissimilar:
To each was portioned of the breath of God,
Who gave them divers instincts from one source.
Then judge not thou thy fellows what they are.

Translated by D. G. Rossetti.