You, Whose Look Pierced through My Heart


Mars and Venus United by Love, Paolo Veronese, c.1570

by Guido Cavalcanti

You whose look pierced through my heart,
Waking up my sleeping mind,
behold an anguished life
which love is killing with sighs.

So deeply love cuts my soul
that weak spirits are vanquished,
and what remains the only master
is this voice that speaks of woe.

This virtue of love, that has undone me
Came from your heavenly eyes:
It threw an arrow into my side.

So straight was the first blow
That the soul, quivering, reverberated,
seeing the heart on the left was dead.

About the Author:

Guido Cavalcanti (between 1250 and 1259 – August 1300) was a Florentine poet.