Giacomo Leopardi - Opera Omnia >>  To his lady
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illeopardi text integral passage complete quotation of the sources comedies works historical literary works in prose and in verses

Translated by A.S.Kline

      Dearest beauty, who inspire
my love from afar, who hide your face,
except when deep in sleep
your image moves my heart,
or in fields where the light
of day and nature’s smile are brighter:
perhaps you blessed that innocent
age that is called Golden,
or fly as an airy spirit
among men? Or does greedy fate
hide you from us till some later time?

      Now no hope is left me
of ever gazing at you:
unless it may be, when naked and alone,
my spirit travels those new paths
to a foreign place. Once, in the fresh
dawn of my dark uncertain day,
I thought you were a traveller
in this arid land. But nothing on this earth
resembles you: and if there were an equal
to your face, gestures, spirit, that beauty
though similar would still be less.

      Among all this suffering
that fate creates for human beings,
if anyone on earth loved you
as my imagination forms you,
he’d be blessed in this life:
and I see clearly how your love
might make me seek out praise and virtue,
as in my first youth. Now heaven
grants no solace for our troubles:
and, with you, mortal life would be
like that which heaven reveals.

      Through the valleys, where the song
of the weary farmer echoes,
and I sit and mourn
youthful error that deserts me:
and in the hills where I recall, weeping,
lost desires, and the lost hope
of my days: thinking of you
my feelings wake. And if I might
hold your noble image, in this dark age
and sinful atmosphere, and be content
with that vision rather than the truth.

      If you are one of those
eternal Ideas, that the eternal mind
scorns to clothe in solid form,
to endure the pain of our deathly life
among fallen bodies,
or if you are received in another earth,
in the highest circling, among
the innumerable worlds, and a star
closer and brighter than the sun
illuminates you, who breathe a purer air:
accept your unknown lover, in this hymn
from this world of unhappy and brief days.

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