The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).
of Wisdom, open your eyes, and see that before you were she was the Lover of you, preparing and ordaining the process of your being!  Since you were made she came that she might guide you, came to you in your own likeness; and, if all of you cannot come into her presence, honour her in her friends, and follow their counsels, as of them who announce to you the will of this eternal Empress!  Close not your ears to Solomon, who tells you “the path of the Just is as a shining Light, which goeth forth and increaseth even to the day of salvation.”  Follow after them, behold their works, which ought to be to you as a beacon of light for guidance in the path of this most brief life.

And here we may close the Commentary on the true meaning of the present Song.  The last stanza, which is intended for a refrain, can be explained easily enough by the Literal exposition, except inasmuch as it says that I there called this Lady “disdainful and morose.”  Where it is to be known that at the beginning this Philosophy appeared to me on the part of her body, which is Wisdom, morose, for she smiled not on me, insomuch that as yet I did not understand her persuasions; and she seemed to me disdainful, for she turned not her glance to me, that is to say, I could not see her demonstrations.  But the defect was altogether on my side.  From this, and from that which is given in the explanation of the Literal meaning of the Song, the Allegory of the refrain is evident.  It is time, therefore, that we proceed farther, and this treatise end.

* * * * *

The Fourth Treatise

      Soft rhymes of love I used to find
        Within my thought, I now must leave,
    Not without hope to turn to them again;
      But signs of a disdainful mind
        That in my Lady I perceive
    Have closed the way to my accustomed strain.

      And since time suits me now to wait,
        I put away the softer style
    Proper to love; rhyme subtle and severe
      Shall tell how Nobleman’s estate
        Is won by worth, hold false and vile
    The judgment that from wealth derives a Peer.

        First calling on that Lord
          Who dwells within her eyes,
        Containing whom, my Lady learnt
          Herself to love and prize.

        One raised to Empire held,
          As far as he could see,
        Descent of wealth, and generous ways,
          To make Nobility.

        Another, lightly wise,
          That saying turned aside,
        Perchance for want of generous ways
          The second source denied.

        And followers of him
          Are all the men who rate
        Those noble in whose families
          The wealth has long been great.

        And so long among us
          The falsehood has had sway,
        That men call him a Nobleman,
          Though worthless, who can say.

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The Banquet (Il Convito) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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