di "BOCCA D'ARNOfrom "THE MOUTH OF THE ARNO"
Gabriele d'Annunziotr. Alistair Elliot
Bocca di donna mai mi fu di tanta The mouth of woman never was to me
soavità nell'amorosa via so full of pleasure in the ways of love
(se non la tua, se non la tua, presente) (excepting yours, excepting yours, right now)
come la bocca pallida e silente as the pale opening out, the silent lips
del fiumicel che nasce in Falterona. of this small stream that springs in Falterona.
Qual donna s'abbandona What woman can abandon
(se non tu, se non tu) ś dolcemente herself (excepting only you) so sweetly
come questa placata corrent́a? as this appeased and sated current does?
Ella non canta, It does not sing
e pur fluisce quasi melod́aand yet it flows like melody towards
all'amarezza.its bitter end.
Qual sia la sua bellezza
The nature of its beauty
io non so dire,
I cannot speak,
come colui che ode
being like one who hears
suoni dormendo e virtudi ignote
sounds that pierce his sleep, and unknown powers
entran nel suo dormire.
enter his sleeping mind.
Le saltano all'incontro i verdi flutti, Leaping a little to meet it the green waves
schiumanti di baldanza, burst into confident foam,
con la grazia dei giovini animali. the graceful surging of young animals.
In catena di putti They move with greater bounds
non mise tanta gioia Donatello, of joy than Donatello's hand-in-hand
fervendo il marmo sotto lo scalpello, cherubs in marble warm beneath the chisel
quando ornava le bianche cattedrali. when he was decorating white cathedrals.
Sotto ghirlande di fiori e di frutti Under the swags and chains of flowers and fruits
svolgeasi intorno al pergami la danza those children wreath around his balustrades,
infantile, ma non ś fiera danza skipping and turning; but their dance is never
come quest'una.as wild as this one.
V'è creatura alcuna
Does any other creature
che in tanta grazia
live with such grace
viva ed in ś perfetta
and in such perfect joy?
gioia, se non quella lodoletta
except for Dante's lark up there
che in aere si spazia?
that goes for walks on air.
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Trans. Copyright © Alistair Elliot 1993 - publ. Bloodaxe Books


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