Tuesday, March 20, 2012

To Zakynthos. Sonnet by Ugo Foscolo

Never will I touch your sacred shore again
where my young form reclined at rest,
Zakynthos, regarding yourself in waves 
of the Greek sea, where Venus was
virgin born, and made those islands bloom
with her first smile; nor did he bypass
your lacy clouds and leafy fronds
in glorious verse, the one who sang
of fatal seas, and of the broad exile
after which, exalted by fame and by adventure,
Ulysses kissed his rocky native Ithaca.
You will have nothing of your son but his song,
motherland of mine: and our fate already 
written, the unmourned grave.
translation by Nick Benson of Ugo Foscolo (1778-1827), Sonnet IX, "A Zacinto" written 1802-1803

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