SONNET XIII.

 

By W.L. Bowles

 

O Time! who know’st a lenient hand to lay

Softest on sorrow’s wound, and slowly thence,

Lulling to sad repose the weary sense

The faint pang stealest unperceived away;

On Thee I rest my only hope at last,

And think, when thou hast dried the bitter tear

That flows in vain o’er all my soul held dear,

I may look back on every sorrow past,

And meet life’s peaceful evening with a smile;-

As some poor bird, at day’s departing hour,

Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient shower

Forgetful, tho’ its wings are wet the while;-

Yet ah! how much must that poor heart endure,

Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure!

SONETTO XIII.

 

Di W.L.Bowles

 

Oh Tempo! Che benevola una mano sai posare

Tanto lieve sulla ferita del dolore, e a poco a poco poi,

Cullando lo sfinito senso a triste riposo,

la fievole fitta sottrai, inavvertito.

In te ripongo la mia unica speranza infine,

e, quando l’amare lacrime avrai prosciugato

che invano scorrono lungo il mio animo,

penso che volgermi potrò ad ogni dolore passato

andando incontro al quieto crepuscolo della vita col sorriso –

come un uccello solitario, allo svampar del giorno,

canta nel raggio di sole, dimentico dello scroscio

passeggero, benché bagnate frattanto sian le sue ali;-

Ah! Quanto ancora resisterà questo povero cuore

Che spera da te, da te soltanto, una cura.

Translation by Mirka Del Pasqua

L. BOWLES was an English priest, poet and critic. In 1789 he published, in a very small quarto volume, Fourteen Sonnets, which were received with extraordinary favour, not only by the general public, but by poets like Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Wordsworth.

Mirka Del Pasqua, Florentine by birth, has always wanted to travel the world, to learn new languages and to uncover new cultures. She spent the first part of her life doing this through literature; she hopes to spend the second part doing it on the road. Portugal, after her degree, was her first adventure, but not the last. She considers herself an “aspiring translator”.

In her translation of this poem, she was forced to apply Magrelli’s “minus one rule”; the missing element, and the one she still hopes to incorporate one day and which was lost to mirror the rhythm while striving not to create ambiguousness in meaning, is the syntactic parallelism in verses 3 and 4 (the weary sense- the faint pang).

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