Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
Whatso Is Fair
By Guido Cavalcanti (1255–1300)
 
Translated by Henry Francis Cary
Beltà di donna e di saccente core

WHATSO is fair in lady’s face or mind,
  And gentle knights caparison’d and gay;
  The singing of sweet birds to love inclined,
  And gallant barks that cut the watery way;
The white snow falling without any wind,        5
  The cloudless sky at break of early day,
  The crystal stream, with flowers the meadow lined,
  Silver, and gold, and azure for array:—
To him that sees the beauty and the worth
  Whose power doth meet and in my lady dwell,        10
  All seem as vile, their price and lustre gone;
And, as the heaven is higher than the earth,
  So she in knowledge doth each one excel,
  Not slow to good in nature like her own.
 
 
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