Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
Genova Mia
By Gaetana Passerini (1654–1714)
 
Translated by James Glassford, of Dougalston

IF 1 still I can behold, and shed no tear,
  Thy beauty, Genoa, mangled thus and torn,
  Think not thy son disloyal, whom the fear
  Of treason to thy state forbids to mourn.
Thy greatness in these ruins I revere,        5
  Trophies of stern resolve and generous scorn;
  At every step in every object near
  I trace thy courage in thy dangers borne.
Above all victory is to suffer well;
  And such is thine; with thee it still remains,        10
  Thus in the dust and not disconsolate!
Now Freedom loves upon thy form to dwell,
  And kisses every wound, and cries elate,
  O yes, the Ruins ever, not the Chains!
 
Note 1. A writer in the Edinburgh Review for October 1804 observes,—“Were we called upon to give a decided preference to any one sonnet in the Italian language, we should certainly be inclined to say that the sonnet of Gaetana Passerini, commencing, Genova mia, se con asciutto ciglio (Mathias, vol. iii., p. 331), is superior to any in Petrarch. We imagine it was written after the bombardment of Genoa, by Louis the Fourteenth, in 1684. Mr. Mathias is mistaken in saying that Passerini died in 1714. She was living in 1726, when Bergalli published her Rimatrici d’ogni secolo. Her works, we believe, have never been collected, but are scattered in different Scelte and in the Rime degli Arcadi. We have seen little more than twenty of her sonnets and anacreontic odes; but the specimen of her poetry given by Mr. Mathias ought not to have stood alone. The sonnet addressed to Prince Eugene, Signor, che nella destra, and several others, have considerable merit.” [back]
 
 
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