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"Ahi vota speme! Amor fra l'ombre inferne Seguirammi immortale, onnipotente." -- Ugo Foscolo
Love's Pain (translation of a sonnet by Ugo Foscolo)May no one hear the dragging of my chain Of tears and hope, of keenest heart-felt love, Of silence; let compassion hold me back If I speak with her, or think of her, or write. Alone you heed me, solitary shore, Where each night love induces me to come; Here I entrust my tears and tell my pain, Here I pour out the fullness of my grief. And I tell how her great and laughing eyes Ravaged my heart with their immortal ray, Her rosy mouth, her shining, scented hair, The candor of her limbs white and divine, The dearness and the sweetness of her words, Taught me at last the way to weep for love.Translation © Carl Selph, 1999Love's Power (translation of a sonnet by Ugo Foscolo)
Deservedly -- that, despite all, I could Leave you -- now I cry to the waves surging Against these Alps, and deaf Tyrrhenian Winds disperse my desperate sobs of pain. I hoped -- since men and gods have dragged me down To long exile among a folk foresworn, Far from the lovely land where you now, sad, Sighing for me, live your prosperous days-- I hoped that time and hardships and these crags I climb across, panting for breath, and the dark Forests where, like a wild animal, I sleep, Would offer solace to my wounded heart: Alas, vain hope! through shadowy hell my love Tracks me, immortal and omnipotent.Translation © Carl Selph, 1999Editor's Note: Mention of waves, and winds off the Tyrrhenian Sea, suggest that Foscolo is referring to the Maritime Alps in SE France and NW Italy.To His Beloved (translation of a sonnet by Ugo Foscolo)Thus for whole days in long and troubled sleep I groan. But when obscuring night summons The stars and a pale moon into the sky And mute shades overcast the chilling air, Where wooded is the plain and desolate, Then as I slowly wander, one by one I touch the wounds inflicted on my heart By evil fortune and the world and love. Weary, I lean against a pine-tree stump Or lie prostrate where waves clamour and roar, Speak with my hopes, and in a frenzy rave. But for love oft forgetting mortal wrath And destiny, to thee, woman, I sigh: O light of my eyes, who hides thee from me?Translation © Carl Selph, 1999
Love's Torment (translation of a sonnet by Ugo Foscolo)When shadows cover the world and the wind Gusts, when muttering waves to the tideline Rise, coming and going across the sands, And a hesitant moon breaks through the clouds, Where most desolate lies the beach I go In solitude to argue with my hopes, And hour after hour I explore the wounds Dealt to my tortured heart that bleeding groans. Alas! I am a stranger to myself; My days are wasted like the violet New-budding battered by the winter's cold; For far from me walks she who, she alone, Could bring eternal laughter to my lips: Light of my eyes, who dares steal thee away?Translation © Carl Selph, 1999
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