I Loved a Sparrowhawk
Samantha Pious

Alas, ah me, I loved a sparrowhawk,
and with a love enough to die therefrom!
I never let him wander from my side,
and when I called him, he would always come.

Now he is flown, and mounted so far high,
far loftier than I have ever known!
He perches on a branch against the sky.
Another lady has him for her own.

My sparrowhawk, for I had trained you, too,
a little golden bell you had of me
that you might be more eager at the chase!

Now you are gone, and vanished like the sea—
your jesses broken, wild, away you flew,
and all because I kept you from your prey.

Samantha Pious' translations of Renée Vivien are available as A Crown of Violets (Headmistress Press, 2017); her translations of Christine de Pizan are coming soon. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania.


Amava uno Sparvero
La Nina Siciliana

Tapin’ ainmè, c’amava uno sparvero—
amavalo tanto ch’io me ne moria!
A lo richiamo [b]ene m’era manero,
e dumque troppo pasciere no’l dovia.

Or è montato e salito si altero
—asai più alto che fare nom solia—
ed è asiso dentro d’un verzero.
Un’altra donna lo tene im balia.

Isparvero mio, ch’io t’avea nodrito,
sonalglio d’oro ti faciea portare,
per che dell’uciellare fosse più ardito …

Or se’ salito si come lo mare,
ed a’ rotti li gieti e se’ fugito,
quando eri fermo nel tuo uciellare.

La Nina Siciliana is known for two poems: the sparrowhawk sonnet, and another sonnet written to Dante da Maiano, a contemporary of Dante Alighieri. However, the date of the sonnet exchange and the identity of the author have provoked academic debate and speculation.

Read Samantha Pious on translating the poem.


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