The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 4/Sonnet on the Nuptials of the Marquis Antonio Cavalli with the Countess Clelia Rasponi of Ravenna
SONNET ON THE NUPTIALS OF THE MARQUIS ANTONIO CAVALLI WITH THE COUNTESS CLELIA RASPONI OF RAVENNA.
A noble Lady of the Italian shore
Lovely and young, herself a happy bride,
Commands a verse, and will not be denied,
From me a wandering Englishman; I tore
One sonnet, but invoke the muse once more
To hail these gentle hearts which Love has tied,
In Youth, Birth, Beauty, genially allied
And blest with Virtue's soul, and Fortune's store.
A sweeter language, and a luckier bard
Were worthier of your hopes, Auspicious Pair!
And of the sanctity of Hymen's shrine,
But,—since I cannot but obey the Fair,
To render your new state your true reward,
May your Fate be like Hers, and unlike mine.
Ravenna, July 31, 1819.
[From an autograph MS. in the possession of the Lady Dorchester,
now for the first time printed.]
- I wrote this sonnet (after tearing the first) on being repeatedly urged to do so by the Countess G. [It was at the house of the Marquis Cavalli, uncle to the countess, that Byron appeared in the part of a fully-recognized "Cicisbeo"—See letter to Hoppner, December 31, 1819, Letters, 1900, iv. 393.]