Alla sera

Ugo Foscolo


Forse perché della fatal quiete
tu sei l’immago a me sì cara vieni
o Sera! E quando ti corteggian liete
le nubi estive e i zeffiri sereni,

e quando dal nevoso aere inquiete
tenebre e lunghe all’universo meni
sempre scendi invocata, e le secrete
vie del mio cor soavemente tieni.

Vagar mi fai co’ miei pensier su l’orme
che vanno al nulla eterno; e intanto fugge
questo reo tempo, e van con lui le torme

delle cure onde meco egli si strugge;
e mentre io guardo la tua pace, dorme
quello spirto guerrier ch’entro mi rugge.


At dusk

Ugo Foscolo


Perhaps because you are of fatal stillness
the likeness I so treasure you
oh Dusk! Be there clouds of summer solstice
and gentle zephyrs that kindly woo

be there from snowy heavens restless
shadows of the dark cast upon the world ,
you are welcome always, and the mysterious
recesses of my heart you quietly capture.

You drive my vagrant thoughts on paths
that lead to eternal nothingness; and scarpers
thus this woeful time, and with it the abundance

of miseries that with me time devours;
and while I view your peacefulness, dormant is
the intrepid spirit that within me roaring stirs.


Translation ©Matilda Colarossi

Ugo Foscolo ranks among the most famous poets in Italian literature.

After a life of wanderings he ended up in London, where he spent the last 11 years of his life mixing with high society and the greatest writers of the day, including Lord Byron. He died in poverty in Turnham Green.

The sonnet was composed between 1802 and 1803. It was part of his collection Poesie.

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