Franz Kafka

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Ancient Lament, by Giosue Carducci, English Translation (Pianto Antico, Rime Nuove)

"Rime Nuove", by G. Carducci, cover 1887 - copyright © 2005

The Ancient Lament, by Giosue Carducci, from New Rhymes, 1887


The tree you used to reach
your infant's hand out to,
the verdant pomegranate
with pretty vermilion flowers,
in the mute solitary orchard
has now just turned green
for June is restoring it
with light and warmth.
You, blossom of my own
shaken and parched tree,
you, of my vain life
ultimate and only flower,
lay in the chilly ground,
lay in the black ground;
neither can the sun gladden you
nor love awaken you again.

Translated by LiteraryJoint

Original version in Italian:

Pianto Antico, da Rime Nuove, 1887

L’albero a cui tendevi
la pargoletta mano,
il verde melograno
da’ bei vermigli fior,
nel muto orto solingo
rinverdí tutto or ora
e giugno lo ristora
di luce e di calor.
Tu fior de la mia pianta
percossa e inaridita,
tu de l’inutil vita
estremo unico fior,
sei ne la terra fredda,
sei ne la terra negra;
né il sol piú ti rallegra
né ti risveglia amor.

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