[Deeply repentant of my sinful ways]

By Gaspara Stampa 1523–1554 Gaspara Stampa

Translated By Lorna De Lucchi

Deeply repentant of my sinful ways
And of my trivial, manifold desires,
Of squandering, alas, these few brief days
Of fugitive life in tending love's vain fires,
To Thee, Lord, Who dost move hard hearts again,
And render warmth unto the frozen snow,
And lighten every bitter load of pain
For those who with Thy sacred ardours glow,
   To Thee I turn, O stretch forth Thy right hand
And from this whirlpool rescue me, for I
Without Thine aid could never reach the land;
O willingly for us didst suffer loss,
And to redeem mankind hung on the Cross,
O gentle Saviour, leave me not to die.

Source: An Anthology of Italian Poems ()

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Poet Gaspara Stampa 1523–1554


SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance


Gaspara Stampa was a 16th-century poet, musician, and singer born in Padua, Italy. Following her father’s death in the 1530s, she and her mother moved to Venice. There, her family home became an epicenter of Venetian cultural society. She was highly admired for her lyrical verses, which often elicited comparisons to Sappho. Despite her premature death at the age of 31, Stampa produced more than 300 poems, most of which were . . .

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SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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