FANTASIA FANTASIA
Giosuè Carduccitr. Brian Cole
Tu parli; e, de la voce a la molle aura
Lenta cedendo, si abbandona l'anima
Del tuo parlar su l'onde carezzevoli,
E a strane plaghe naviga.

Naviga in un tepor di sole occiduo
Ridente a le cerulee solitudini:
Tra cielo e mar candidi augelli volano,
Isole verdi passano,

E i templi su le cime ardui lampeggiano
Di candor pario ne l'occaso roseo,
Ed i cipressi de la riva fremono,
E i mirti densi odorano.

Erra lungi l'odor su le salse aure
E si mesce al cantar lento de' nauti,
Mentre una nave in vista al porto ammaina
Le rosse vele placida.

Veggo fanciulle scender da l'acropoli
In ordin lungo; ed han bei pepli candidi,
Serti hanno al capo, in man rami di lauro,
Tendon le braccia e cantano.

Piantata l'asta in su l'arena patria,
A terra salta un uom ne l'armi splendido:
È forse Alceo da le battaglie reduce
A le vergini lesbie?
You speak; and, with your voice yielding
to the soft, slow air, the soul of your speech
abandons itself on the gentle wave,
and sails to foreign lands.

It sails in the warmth of the setting sun
smiling at the sky-blue wastes:
Bright birds fly in the sky and sea,
Green islands pass by,

And the temples flash on the harsh peaks
with Parian brightness in the rosy sunset,
And the cypresses shiver on the shore,
Dense myrtles spread their scent.

The scent drifts far on the salty breezes
And mingles with the slow singing of sailors,
While a ship is seen to tie up in the harbour,
At rest with its red sails.

I see young girls climbing the acropolis
In a long line, with fine bright skirts,
With garlands on their heads, laurels in their hands,
They stretch out their arms and sing.

Having planted the pole in the sands of home,
A man splendid in arms jumps to the ground:
And perhaps Alceus gives battle as a veteran
To the Lesbian virgins?

Trans. Copyright © Brian Cole 2003


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