Category Archives: Love

Cecilia, My Precious! [Milan 1490]

Cecilia! Cissy! Can you hear me, Sweet?
I’m here in the drapes close beside you
I shall love you forever, beautiful child
Sweetheart, I see that Leonardo smiled.

It is I, Milan, who adores you, fine beauty
With my people enraptured before you
My regal devotion is yours to command
Pray, accepting this Duke, take his hand.

O Cecilia, my hand embodies betrothal
A promise I grant you, pure angel divine
Come to me, come to me, true pure one
And let all others around us begone.

I spoke but blindly when first I spoke love to you
Two hearts broken that my heart spoke not true.


See Leonardo da Vinci’s famous 1490 painting of Cecilia Gallerani, as the 17-year-old
mistress of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. One of the most beautiful girls of the past 500 years, in my humble opinion. She came within the Duke’s circle because her father was in the employ of the Court.

Although Ludovico’s favourite, they could not marry even though she had given birth to their son, Cesare, as he had to make a dynastic alliance with another politically important family. Consequently, Ludovico reneged and married Beatrice D’Este instead. Sadly, Beatrice died in childbirth aged only 21. By this time Cecilia had married a friend of the Duke and one can only speculate on the levels of distress caused at this dreadful turn of events.

Cecilia was revered by the Duke, Leonardo and all the learned and outstanding men of Milan because she combined immense beauty with a powerful and creative intellect. To them, a creature so favoured by the gods must have been favoured by God Himself.
A Milanese poet of the time suggested that the portrait looked as if Cecilia was distracted by someone calling to her. Such is the power of the painting.

This gave me the idea for my sonnet.

Lady with an Ermine   Leonardo da Vinci   1489-90
Owned by Poland and exhibited in Krakow



La Ragazza Col Mandolino (1490)

Dolce ti è la vita, o mia signora
Tu ed il tuo mandolino
Che brilla, per opera del Maestro
Dentro al tuo fresco palazzo.

La sua melodia riflette la tua grazia
La purezza della tua anima senza peccato
Firenze ti circonda con il suo clamore
Prima che la sua potente oscurità la pervada.

Le corde pizzicate cantano con soave dolcezza
È il signore stesso a sfiorare il tuo mento
Una spada colma di gemme giace sul marmo
Mentre le danze dell’amore stanno per cominciare.

Ah, nel fresco e dolce profumo di quel palazzo Fiorentino
Io sarò tuo, o mia signora, Se tu vorrai essere mia.


( Roberto – Thank you for your fine translation! )


Girl with Mandolin [1490]

Life is sweet for you, Lady
You with your mandolin
Gleaming from the Maestro’s making
Your palace cool within.

The tune reflects your beauty
A pure mind avoiding sin
The clamour of Florence about you
Yet free from its mighty din.

Plucked strings so sweetly singing
The Lord then touches your chin
Jewelled sword lies on the marble
As a courtship is due to begin.

Ah, in the cool and fragrant palace Florentine
I shall be yours, my Lady, if you’ll be mine.



On The Day Of Our Wedding – A Sonnet For Love

I beseech you, husband
Be kind to me

And I beseech you, wife
Be fond with me

Travel closely with me
And keep me, loving, near

I am with you a lifelong time
Shorelines walked with truest hearts

With mind and soul and body
We face the world complete

And from our loving selves
May new life, joyful, leap.

This day is ours from which all springs
From here begin all our rememberings.



Jig O’ Th’ Sea An’ Th’ Golden Ale

I’m th’ master of me golden ale
An’ that’s th’ way to be
But should it lead to th’ olden jail
I’d run away to sea.

Yet I’d be back, no need to frown
I’d race me home for thee
I’d dance a jig from Bridport town
To clasp thee on me knee.

An’ home again, me bonny girl
I’d never again depart
We’ll marry wi’ a ring o’ pearl
For th’ mistress of me heart.

An’ who shall say t’was just a song
We’re golden as th’ day is long.


Lie You So Softly

Lie you so softly in those sensuous sheets
As dazed in sleep you disconnected stir
Then mutter nothings sending me in pleats
As nostrils twitch at faint changes in the air.

Electrifying thrills of shapes beneath the folds
And all akimbo sadly sheltered from my view
An arm still braceleted appears and so unfolds
More silken body and your face emerging new.

Lie you so softly that your gold-bespangled hair
Extended on the pillow now star-like in its beauty
Rising with you as unawake and only half aware
Yawning yourself alive anticipating lover’s duty.



My smiling mind shouts ‘Yes please’
Flying fast across the seven seas
For Laura

She’s deep inside my beating heart
Waiting for this love to start
For Laura

The bonds that bind me to this girl
Throw me in a whizzing whirl
For Laura

My head and toes and heart are light
As fancy spins me on this flight
For Laura

For boys and girls who fall in love
Will know the starlight from above
For Laura

As sunny joy and hope intensifying
Lead me laughing, singing, sighing
For Laura.


I Think For Hours

I think for hours
Then buy her flowers
I’m glad she made
Fresh marmalade
She is to me
A mighty sea
Of deep emotion
Without commotion
But with devotion
No self-promotion
True support
That’s never fraught
Keep up the trick
Through thin and thick
Just entertaining
While stimulating.


Drenched Am I

Glancing at you sideways when you know it not
Glimpsing fragrant moisture on half-open lips
That sweetest tongue alive with words of fire
Touches teeth a-gleam that sears me with desire.

Your face is peerless in its form so close to mine
As now your nose and eyebrow sweep my cheek
Drench me in warming scents from flawless skin
Stretching my so pulsing heart that beats within.

Those eyes quite glisten and reflect my truest self
Changing the while as thoughts flick at your soul
Agape with love that courses through true dreams
And close now moistly for our love is all it seems.

Those lashes lie awash on beds of deepening tears
As ardent lips are fired with racing thoughts of love
Then drenched am I with expectation quite fulfilled
Our joyous understanding gained and now instilled.


Beautiful Player, Beautiful Amour

I have compared you with all those summer days that Will has spoken of
And sly-eyed you across the chessboard as you richly mimicked Kasparov
Enjoyed the honeyed, dappled fingers reach mockingly to take my pawn
And burned with shame when first you laughed my poorly chess to scorn.

Those tawny and compelling eyes so brimful with condescension and such disdain
Mock and hoot those thoughts of mine revealing what I would truly, sensually gain
Yet leave the chess forgotten as bishops spill on knights and castles crash to floor
Cascading players vault beyond the candles and twine their burning flesh amour.