Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/105

fourteenth Canto the poet declames against an old woman, who with her mad passion comes to interfere with the love of a young couple, and thus he inveighs against old women in general:

O degli orti d’amor catii custodi, vigilanti nel mal, garrule vecchie, ecc. (i).

Thus literally.englished: «Ye guardian doga of the gardens of love, watchful in evil, chattering old women; weeds clinging to the most beautiful flowers; stinging bees in the sweetest honey ! The fox hath not so many frauds and wiles as ye invent, nor hath suspicion so many eyes and ears (heaven blast ye ali) as ye open for the hurt of others. Noisome harpies at the tables of love; hobgoblins fatai to the repose of men. Life is a meadow and ye are the serpents. You only are the bane of every joy. If the sky was without whirlwinds and hurricanes, the sea without tempesta and storms and the earth without death and old women, how much more gay and pleasing would the world be! Jealous and cruel furies, who entirely deprive the lovers of their joys, living phantoms, breathing anatomies, open sepulchres, shades of death, diseases. Why dost thou not, O earth, inclose and swallow them in the abyss of eternai anguish ! Envy of the good of others nourishes them, moves them and supports them».

After this fine preamble Marini, in the person of one of his enamoured heroes, thus continues the panegyric upon the old woman who loved him:

Grifa, del buon villan l’empia m.ogliera, venne fra i nostri amori ad interporsi, ecc. (2).

Thus also literally englished: «Grifa, the empious wife of the good countryman, carne to interpose in our loves. This wicked intolerable wild beast was enamoured of me, which I perceived

(i) XIV, st. 284-6. — Si è creduto inutile dare per intero i passi italiani riferiti da! Baretti: si è invece aggiunta in nota l’indicazione del luogo donde sono tratti [Ed.].

(2) XIV, st. 287-90 [Ed.].