LA LEGGENDA DI OMERO
SECONDA PARTE - ALLA CORTE DI CAMPANO
THE LEGEND OF HOMER
PART II - AT THE COURT OF CAMPANO
Giuseppe Messina tr. Brian Cole
Apparve l'aurora e la nave salpò
- Erano a bordo Omero e Karterìa -
Spinta dai remi sulle onde s'avviò,
E il timoniere tracciava la via.
Il sole si tuffava ad Occidente
E, dopo un percorso, l'imbarcazione
Rallentò e proseguì dolcemente,
Dirigendosi nella direzione
Di una rada, lì, poco lontano.
Dopo che la giornata si fu spenta,
Niente, invero, successe di strano
E trascorse la notte molto lenta.
S'alzò il sole e fu il nuovo giorno;
Si svegliarono sulla nave tutti
E, mentre s'illuminava intorno,
Sbattevano sulla fiancata i flutti.
Avanzava, spinto dal vento, ancora,
Il naviglio del marinaio Ozièno,
Rimessosi in viaggio di buon'ora,
Nel caldo giorno, limpido e sereno;
Verso il Sud proseguiva, tranquillo,
E sembrava dai numi protetto,
E Febo proteggeva il suo pupillo
Perché era gran poeta al suo cospetto.
Un altro giorno ancora era passato;
La nave giunse in un porto a sera,
E, quando ognuno si fu addormentato,
Nel silenzio della notte più nera,
Tutti i navigli furono assaltati
Da un'orda di briganti selvaggi.
Gli equipaggi furono svegliati,
Quindi affrontarono quei malvagi,
Ladri di ogni bene e di ogni avere;
I marinai, costretti a lottare,
Nulla riuscirono ad ottenere
E molti furono gettati in mare.
Anche la nave di Ozièno, abbordata,
Aveva subito feriti e morti;
Anche il poeta, con l'arma affilata
Contro i pirati selvaggi e più forti,
Lottò e difese la sua consorte.
Sembrava nato con la spada in mano
E ne colpì tantissimi a morte.
Per un potere davvero arcano
A quella morte riusci a sfuggire
E, con la donna, riparò in mare.
Per evitare, i due, di perire
Dovettero, da lì, a lungo, nuotare
Mentre le navi prendevano fuoco.
Omero e la sua donna, ormai lontani,
Toccarono la terra dopo un poco;
Erano stanchi, pero vivi e sani.
Proseguirono, Omero e Karterìa;
Ed era verso Sud la loro strada,
Ma non conoscevano la magia
Per volar lungi da quella contrada.
Percorsero un terreno paludoso,
Però erano, i due, molto decisi
A mantenersi su un sentiero ombroso,
E con riferimenti ben precisi
Per non smarrire il giusto orientamento.
Videro un bianco gregge, in lontananza,
E si rallegrarono nel momento
Che percorrevano quella distanza.
Ormai la sera era quasi vicina,
E loro, in mezzo a pecore e pastori,
A sinistra della costa marina,
Tra le ginestre e i tanti fiori.
Da due pastori furono invitati
Per la cena, con latticini e pane;
Poi a tarda ora, quando addormentati,
Dopo il rischio e una fatica immane,
Omero, in pieno sonno, fu colpito
E trasportato senza Karterìa,
Privo di sensi e col capo ferito,
Da chi agiva con vigliaccheria;
Fu abbandonato lì, poco distante,
Ma appena ebbe ripreso coscienza
Comprese tutto, nello stesso istante:
La donna aveva subito violenza,
E colse il poeta la disperazione
E l'ira, più che altro, sconvolgente.
Meditò, in quell'istante, un'azione
Per liberare, ed immediatamente,
La sua donna amata, Karterìa,
Colei che, senza dubbio, era stata
Ispiratrice di tanta poesia:
Sapeva che l'avrebbe ritrovata.
............
............
Dawn then broke and the ship set sail
- on board were Homer and Kartería.
They set out on the waves propelled by the oars
and the helmsman calculated the course.
And as sun sank in the West,
after a whole day's sailing, the vessel
dropped her speed and moved on gently,
steering in the direction of
a mooring a little further off.
After the day had drawn to a close
nothing unusual happened, in truth,
and the night passed very slowly.
The sun rose and a new day dawned;
everyone on the ship woke up,
and while all around grew light
the billows beat on the sides of the ship.
It moved on again, propelled by the wind,
the mariner Oziéno's ship,
resuming its course in the early morning
in very hot weather, calm and serene:
they continued southward, peacefully,
and seemed protected by the gods,
and Phoebus gave protection to his darling
because he was a wondrous poet.
Yet another day had passed.
At evening the ship arrived in port
and, when they all had gone to sleep,
in the silence of the darkest night,
all the vessels were attacked
by a band of savage vicious pirates.
The crews were wakened from their sleep
and had to face these wicked villains,
who lived by stealing all possessions.
The sailors were compelled to fight,
but none was able to prevail,
and many were thrown into the sea.
Even Oziénos ship was boarded
and suffered deaths and injuries;
the poet too, with his well-honed sword,
fought the fiercest, strongest pirate
and protected his dear wife.
It seemed he had been born with a sword
in his tiny hand, and he slew so many.
By a quite mysterious power
he somehow managed to survive
and with his wife set sail again.
For the two of them to escape from death
they had to swim a very long way
when all the ships went up in flames.
Homer and his lady, now very far away,
came to land after a little time -
weary, but alive and well.
They went on, Homer and Kartería;
and their way took them to the South,
but they did not know the magic spell
to fly away far from that region.
They traversed a marshy terrain,
but the couple were determined
to keep to a path that gave them shade
and with very useful landmarks
to maintain their sense of direction.
They saw a white flock in the distance
and they were very happy after
they had covered the ground between.
Then evening was about to fall,
and they were in the midst of sheep
and shepherds, to the left of the shore,
among the broom and many flowers.
Two of the shepherds invited them
to share their dinner of cheese and bread;
then when it was late and they went to bed,
desperately tired after all the dangers,
Homer was attacked while asleep
and carried off without Kartería,
unconscious and with a wound to his head,
by one who acted the shameless coward.
He was left there, not far off,
but hardly had he regained his wits
when he realised what had happened:
his lady had been violated,
the poet was overcome with distress
and anger, even more disturbing.
In that moment he devised a plan
to achieve the immediate liberation
of his beloved lady, Kartería,
of her who without doubt had been
the inspiration of so much poetry:
he knew that he had found her again.
............
............

Copyright: © Giuseppe Messina, trans. copyright © Brian Cole 2005


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