Wednesday, March 9, 2011

To Evening. Sonnet by Ugo Foscolo

Perhaps because you are the image of that fatal quiet
so dear to me, you have come,
O Evening! And when happy summer clouds 
and the gentle west wind are your escort,
and when from snowy restless heights
you send shadows and darkness into the world,
you descend summoned always, and gently hold 
the secret ways of my heart.
You make my thoughts wander forms
that vanish into eternal nothing; meanwhile 
this cursed time flees, and with it, the throng 
of cares with which it me destroys;
and while I gaze on your peace, that warlike spirit 
sleeps, that yet within me roars.
translation by Nick Benson of Ugo Foscolo (1778-1827), ‘Alla sera,’ published 1803

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