Cesare, poi che'l traditor d'Egitto
li fece il don de l'onorata testa
celando l'allegrezza manifesta
pianse per gli occhi fuor, s' come e scritto;

et Anibal, quando a l'imperio afflito
vide farsa Fortuna si molesta,
rise fra gente lagrimosa et mesta
per isfogare il suo acerbo despitto;

et cosi aven che l'animo ciascuna
sua passion sotto 'l contrario manto
ricopre co la vista or chiara or bruna.

Pero s' alcuna volta io rido o canto
facciol perch'i'non o se non quest'una
via de celare il mio angoscioso pianto.

Ceasar, when the Egyptian Traitor
Gave him, as a gift, that honoured head
Hiding his undoubted joy, outwardly
He wept with his eyes, like it is written;

And Hannibal,when in the afflicted empire
saw fortune being so cruel,
He laughed among his tearful people
To give vent to his bitterness.

And thus it is that the soul
Covers every passion with the opposing cloak,
With a changing face, now clear, now opaque.

So if ever I should laugh or sing
It is because this is the only way I have
To hide my agonised weeping.

Petrarch, Rime Sparse 102

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