Lisbon, Simao Lopez, 1594.
4to [190 x 127 mm], (4) ff., 108. Small restoration on the title-page.
A fine copy of this very rare 16th Century collection of poems, nicely bound by Lortic Fils in straight-grained green morocco.
Bound in full green straight-grained morocco, triple gilt fillet on covers, spine ribbed and decorated, inner gilt border, edges gilt. Binding signed Lortic Fils.
Extremely rare first edition of Diego Bernardez’ earliest collection of poems.
Brunet, I, 795 ; Libros antiguos Portuguezes, n°235.
“Diogo Bernardes (1530-1596) was a native of Ponte de Lima, and is called by Machado the Prince of Pastoral Poetry. M. Southey also has named him as one of the best of the Portuguese poets, and as being passionately fond of the scenery of the river Lyma. When Sebastian meditated the conquest of Africa, he selected Bernardes as the poet who should accompany him, and record, in a heroic poem, the victories and deeds of valour by which the conquest was to be ensured. He was taken prisoner, and, in beautiful language, contrasts his then state with his former happiness. He obtained his liberty, and died at Lisbon in 1596.” (Bibliotheca Lusitana, 82).
The “Varias rimas” are the first of the three collections of poems published by Bernardez. It contains sonnets, elegies, epigrams, stanzas, eclogues, odes, songs, some of which are written in Spanish (pp.15 to 22).
The poet composed these verses between 1578 and 1581, while he is kept prisoner in North Africa.
Indeed, since the death of the King Sebastian of Portugal, the poet is imprisoned in Morocco. In the “Varias rimas”, he remembers his Portuguese homeland; he remembers he left everything to go to war. He recalls the king’s courage, he grieves over his death.
This poet is part of the most important Portuguese mannerists. He lived and wrote in two literary languages, Portuguese and Castilian. He wrote three volumes of poems. The Varias rimas (Lisbon, 1594), are mainly a collection of “pious rhymes” inspired by religious feelings and by the author’s captivity in North Africa.
The B.n.F. only owns a later edition of this work. This first edition isn’t present in any French Library.
We couldn’t locate a copy of this original edition in any International Libraries through OCLC.
Provenance: Vicente Salva (catalogue, n°462), Ricardo Heredia (Paris, 1892, n°2186 : « Edition originale de toute rareté de ces poésies portugaises ; on y rencontre en outre quelques pièces en espagnol. Diego Bernardez est un des poètes portugais les plus estimés, et l’Académie de Lisbonne le cite pour l’élégance de son style ») ; Jeronimo Ferreira Das Neves (ex libris).