Evening Primrose

By John Clare

When once the sun sinks in the west,

And dewdrops pearl the evening’s breast;

Almost as pale as moonbeams are,

Or its companionable star,

The evening primrose opens anew

Its delicate blossoms to the dew;

And, hermit-like, shunning the light,

Wastes its fair bloom upon the night,

Who, blindfold to its fond caresses,

Knows not the beauty it possesses;

Thus it blooms on while night is by;

When day looks out with open eye,

Bashed at the gaze it cannot shun,

It faints and withers and is gone.

Primula della sera

Di John Clare

Quando il sole finalmente ad ovest  svanisce

E la rugiada di perle il seno della notte  abbellisce

Pallida quasi come della luna i raggi

O i suoi amichevoli astri

La primula della sera schiude ancora

I suoi tenui boccioli alla rugiada

E, come un eremita, la luce schivando,

Il suo bel fiore va nella notte sprecando,

il quale, cieco alle sue tenere carezze,

Inconsapevole è delle sue bellezze.

Così sboccia mentre la notte avanza;

E quando schiudendo l’occhio fa capolino il giorno,

Trafitta dallo sguardo che non può fuggire,

S’accascia, s’avvizzisce per poi svanire.

Traduzione di Mirka Del Pasqua

John Clare (1793-1864), son of humble and illiterate parents, has been called “the greatest labouring-class poet that England has ever produced.”

He, in fact, ended his formal education when he was only eleven years old.

Evening primrose is found in the book “Poems Descriptive of rural life and scenery”, published in 1820. This book was highly praised, but, sadly, the public enthusiasm didn’t last long and he spent the final 20 years of life in an insane asylum.

Mirka Del Pasqua is a young poet and translator. Her biography can be found at https://paralleltexts.wordpress.com/found-in-translation/

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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