by Giosuè Carducci
Not under a steel nib that scratches in nasty furrows
its dull thoughts onto dry white paper;
but under the ripe sun, as breezes gust
through wide-open clearings beside a swift stream,
the heart’s sighs, dwindling into infinity, are born,
the sweet, wistful flower of melody is born.
Here redolent May shines in rose-scented air,
brilliant the hollow eyes, hearts asleep in their chests;
the heart sleeps, but ears are easily roused
by the chromatic cries of La Gioconda.
O Muses’ altar of green, white-capped
above the sea. Alcman leads the chaste choir:
"I want to fly with you, maidens, fly into a dance,
as the kingfisher flies drawn by halcyons:
he flies with halcyons over spindrift waves in a gale,
kingfisher, purple herald of spring."
Last updated January 14, 2019