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The Sonnets, Triumphs, and Other Poems of Petrarch   By: (1304-1374)

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First Page:

[Illustration: PETRARCH.]

THE SONNETS, TRIUMPHS, AND OTHER POEMS

OF

PETRARCH.

NOW FIRST COMPLETELY TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH VERSE

BY VARIOUS HANDS.

WITH A LIFE OF THE POET BY THOMAS CAMPBELL.

ILLUSTRATED WITH SIXTEEN ENGRAVINGS ON STEEL.

LONDON: GEORGE BELL AND SONS, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN. 1879.

[ Reprinted from Stereotype plates. ]

PREFACE.

The present translation of Petrarch completes the Illustrated Library series of the Italian Poets emphatically distinguished as "I Quattro Poeti Italiani."

It is rather a singular fact that, while the other three Poets of this world famed series Dante, Ariosto, and Tasso have each found several translators, no complete version of the fourth, and in Italy the most popular, has hitherto been presented to the English reader. This lacune becomes the more remarkable when we consider the great influence which Petrarch has undoubtedly exercised on our poetry from the time of Chaucer downwards.

The plan of the present volume has been to select from all the known versions those most distinguished for fidelity and rhythm. Of the more favourite poems, as many as three or four are occasionally given; while of others, and those by no means few, it has been difficult to find even one. Indeed, many must have remained entirely unrepresented but for the spirited efforts of Major Macgregor, who has recently translated nearly the whole, and that with great closeness both as to matter and form. To this gentleman we have to return our especial thanks for his liberal permission to make free use of his labours.

Among the translators will be found Chaucer, Spenser, Sir Thomas Wyatt, Anna Hume, Sir John Harington, Basil Kennett, Anne Bannerman, Drummond of Hawthornden, R. Molesworth, Hugh Boyd, Lord Woodhouselee, the Rev. Francis Wrangham, the Rev. Dr. Nott, Dr. Morehead, Lady Dacre, Lord Charlemont, Capel Lofft, John Penn, Charlotte Smith, Mrs. Wrottesley, Miss Wollaston, J.H. Merivale, the Rev. W. Shepherd, and Leigh Hunt, besides many anonymous.

The order of arrangement is that adopted by Marsand and other recent editors; but to prevent any difficulty in identification, the Italian first lines have been given throughout, and repeated in an alphabetical index.

The Life of Petrarch prefixed is a condensation of the poet Campbell's two octavo volumes, and includes all the material part of that work.

York Street, Covent Garden, June 28, 1869.

LIST OF PLATES.

PAGE

1. PORTRAIT OF PETRARCH to face title.

2. VIEW OF NAPLES xliv

3. VIEW OF NICE li

4. COAST OF GENOA lxvi

5. BRIDGE OF SIGHS, VENICE lxxviii

6. VICENZA lxxxiii

7. MILAN CATHEDRAL cvi

8. LIBRARY OF ST. MARK'S, VENICE cxv

9. FERRARA. THE OLD DUCAL PALACE cxxiii

10. PORTRAIT OF LAURA 1

11. VIEW OF ROME ST. PETER'S IN THE DISTANCE 66

12. SOLITUDES OF VAUCLUSE (where Petrarch wrote most of his Sonnets) 105

13. GENOA AND THE APENNINES 124

14. AVIGNON (where Laura resided) 189

15. SELVA PIANA (where Petrarch received the news of Laura's death) 232

16. PETRARCH'S HOUSE AT ARQUA (where he wrote his Triumphs) 322

CHRONOLOGICAL SUMMARY OF PETRARCH'S LIFE.

A.D. PAGE

1304. Born at Arezzo, the 20th of July... Continue reading book >>




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