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TODI, Jacopone da

Rapture divine

When the mind's very being is gone,

Sunk in a conscious sleep,

In a rapture divine and deep,

Itself in the Godhead lost:

It is conquered, ravished, and won!

Set in Eternity's sweep,

Gazing back on the steep,

Knowing not how it was crossed -

To a new world now it is tossed,

Drawn from its former state,

To another, measureless, great,

Where Love is drowned in the Sea.

Of Man's Perfection In Love

0 minstrel, raise thy plaintive melody,

and let thy song be tender to my soul:

upon the subtle ninefold modes of love

display the secrets of a lover's heart.

One moment parted from the Friend, I die:

revive my heart with thy life-giving stream

that I may come into the lovers' ring

and grace the lovers' circle. Let me pass

one moment from the world, and for an hour

I will not heed my selfhood: being lost

to this false being, let me swiftly move

to realms of drunkenness where, like the drunk,

I will commence the dance, and raise the cry

of yearning love - for truly I do yearn

for my Beloved - standing in the field

of high ambition. I will shake my wings

like sacrificial bird, and fly at last

from empty word to true reality.

Then will I tell in order, each by each,

the beauty of the Friend, the lover's love.

Donna de Paradiso


O figlio, figlio, figlio,

figlio, amoroso giglio!

Figlio, chi dà consiglio

al cor me’ angustïato?

Figlio occhi iocundi,

figlio, co’ non respundi?

Figlio, perché t’ascundi

al petto o’ sì lattato?


Madonna, ecco la croce,

che la gente l’aduce,

ove la vera luce

déi essere levato.


O croce, e que farai?

El figlio meo torrai?

E que ci aponerai,

che no n’à en sé peccato?


Soccurri, plena de doglia,

cà ’l tuo figliol se spoglia;

la gente par che voglia

che sia martirizzato


Se i tollit’el vestire,

lassatelme vedere,

com’en crudel firire

tutto l’ò ensanguenato.


Donna, gli hanno preso una mano

e l’hanno stesa sulla croce;

l’hanno spaccata con un chiodo,

tanto gliel’hanno conficcato.

L’altra mano se prende,

ennella croce se stende

e lo dolor s’accende,

ch’è plu multiplicato.

Donna, li pè se prènno

e clavellanse al lenno;

onne iontur’ aprenno,

tutto l’ò sdenodato.


Oh son, son, son,

son, loving lily!

Son, who will give comfort

to my anguished heart?

Son whose eyes bring joy,

son, why don’t you answer me?

Son, why are you hiding

from the breast that fed you?


Mary, here’s the cross

brought by crowd,

onto which the true light

will have to be lifted.


Oh cross, what will you do?

Will you take my son?

And what will you accuse him of,

since he hasn’t committed any sins?


Help him, oh you who are full of sorrow,

because your son is undressed;

it seems that the crowd wants

for him to be martyrized.


If you take his clothes away,

let me see how

they bathed him in blood

by inflicting cruel wounds on him.


My Lady, they’ve taken one of his hands

and laid it on the cross;

they’ve broken it with a nail,

so deeply they’ve planted it in.

They’re taking his other hand

and they’re laying it on the cross,

and the pain burns,

more and more intensely.

My Lady, they’re taking his feet

and nailing them to the wood;

opening his every joint,

they’ve completely dislocated him.