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Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882 / London / England)

La Bella Mano


O BELLA Mano, che ti lavi e piaci
In quel medesmo tuo puro elemento
Donde la Dea dell' amoroso avvento
Nacque, (e dall' onda s'infuocar le faci
Di mille inispegnibili fornaci):—
Come a Venere a te l'oro e l'argento
Offron gli Amori; e ognun riguarda attento
La bocca che sorride e te che taci.
In dolce modo dove onor t' invii
Vattene adorna, e porta insiem fra tante
Di Venere e di vergine sembiante;
Umilemente in luoghi onesti e pii
Bianca e soave ognora; infin che sii,
O Mano, mansueta in man d'amante.


O LOVELY hand, that thy sweet self dost lave
In that thy pure and proper element,
Whence erst the Lady of Love's high advènt
Was born, and endless fires sprang from the wave:—
Even as her Loves to her their offerings gave,
For thee the jewelled gifts they bear; while each
Looks to those lips, of music-measured speech
The fount, and of more bliss than man may crave.
In royal wise ring-girt and bracelet-spann'd,
A flower of Venus' own virginity,
Go shine among thy sisterly sweet band;
In maiden-minded converse delicately
Evermore white and soft; until thou be,
O hand! heart-handsel'd in a lover's hand.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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