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Summary of Giovanni Boccaccio's "The Decameron: Day 3 Conclusion"

Summary of Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron Day 3 Conclusion

When Dioneo finished his story every laughed hysterically. When they had quieted down, the Queen took the crown off of her head and placed it on Filostrato’s head and said: “Soon we shall see if the wolves know how to guide the sheep better than the sheep have guided the wolves” (281).

Filostrato told them that the topic for the next day was to be about those whose loves come to unhappy endings. He named this topic, because he was unlucky in love; even his name, which means “overcome, vanquished by love” hinted at his unluckiness in the love department (282).

After supper Filostrato asked Lauretta to sing a song, which goes as follows:

There is no helpless lady
Who has more cause to weep than I,
Who sigh in vain, wretchedly in love.

Heaven’s mover and that of every star
Made me for His delight
So light and lovely, gracious to behold
That I might show to every noble mind
On earth some trace of that
Beauty which dwells forever in His presence;
But mortal imperfection,
Which cannot comprehend,
Finds me undelightful and I am spurned.

There was one man who held me dearly,
And I was young when he
Embraced me with his arms and all his thoughts—
My eyes had set him all aflame,
And time, which flies away
So lightly, he spent it all in courting me;
And I, in courtesy,
Made him worthy of me;
But now, alas, I am deprived of him.

But then appeared before my eyes a vain,
Presumptuous young man,
Through known to be most valiant;
He made me his and through a false belief
He turned to jealousy;
And then, alas, I came to despair,
For now I realized
That I who had come to this world to please
All men was now possessed by only one.

I curse my wretched fate
Forever saying “Yes, I do”;
So beautiful was I in widow’s black,
So happy did I feel, but now in a wife’s dress
The life I lead is harsh
And one with far less honor than before.
Oh, wretched wedding feast,
If only I had died
Before I had experienced such a fate!

Oh, first sweet love with whom I once had been
More than content,
Who now in Heaven stands before the One
Who made him, ah, take pity on this soul
Of mine, who for another man
Cannot forget you: make me feel
That the flame which for me in you burned
Is not yet spent,
And pray that I may soon be there with you (283-5).


Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron. New York: Signet Classics, 1982.

Published on December 6, 2012 by Sophia Brookshire © All Rights Reserved

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