Giosuè Carducci

When the precise diva drops down on our houses,
the far off roar of her flying is heard,

and the shadow of her icy wing, icily advancing,
spreads wide a melancholy silence.

When she comes, men bow their heads,
but the women fall to pining.

Thus the treetops, when July winds gather,
do not sway on the green hills:

the trees stand almost utterly still,
and only the hoarse moan of the creek is heard.

She enters, passes, touches, and without even turning levels
the saplings, delighted by their young branches;

she shears the golden wheat, and strips even hanging grapes,
scoops up the good wives and innocent girls

and tiny children: pink between black wings they reach their arms
to the sun, to their games, and smile.

O sad homes, where before their fathers’ faces,
silent, livid diva, you put out young lives.

Therein, rooms no longer sound with laughter and merrymaking
or with whispers, like birds’ nests in May:

therein, no more the sound of joyful rearing,
nor love’s woes, nor wedding dances:

they grow old therein, the shadowed survivors; to the roar
of your return their ears incline, O goddess.

Last updated January 14, 2019