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!
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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