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Inno a Satana

A te, de l’essere

Principio immenso,

Materia e spirito,

Ragione e senso

Mentre ne’ calici

Il vin scintilla

Sì come l’anima

Ne la pupilla;

Mentre sorridono

La terra e il sole

E si ricambiano

D’amor parole,

E corre un fremito

D’imene arcano

Da’ monti e palpita

Fecondo il piano;

A te disfrenasi

Il verso ardito,

Te invoco, o Satana,

Re del convito.


Hymn To Satan

To you, creation's

mighty principle,

matter and spirit

reason and sense

Whilst the wine

sparkles in cups

like the soul

in the eye

Whilst earth and

sun exchange

their smiles and

words of love

And shudders

from their secret embrace run down

from the mountains, and

the plain throbs with new life

To you my daring

verses are unleashed,

you I invoke, O Satan

monarch of the feast.



Roma, ne l’aer tuo lancio l’anima altera volante:

accogli, o Roma, e avvolgi l’anima mia di luce.

Non curïoso a te de le cose piccole io vengo:

chi le farfalle cerca sotto l’arco di Tito?

Cingimi, o Roma, d’azzurro, di sole m’illumina, o Roma:

raggia divino il sole pe’ larghi azzurri tuoi.

Ei benedice al fosco Vaticano, al bel Quirinale,

al vecchio Capitolio santo fra le ruine;

e tu da i sette colli protendi, o Roma, le braccia

a l’amor che diffuso splende per l’aure chete.

Oh talamo grande, solitudini de la Campagna!

e tu Soratte grigio, testimone in eterno!

Monti d’Alba, cantate sorridenti l’epitalamio;

Tuscolo verde, canta; canta, irrigua Tivoli;

mentr’io da ’l Gianicolo ammiro l’imagin de l’urbe,

nave immensa lanciata vèr’ l’impero del mondo.

O nave che attingi con la poppa l’alto infinito,

varca a’ misterïosi liti l’anima mia.

Ne’ crepuscoli a sera di gemmeo candore fulgenti

tranquillamente lunghi su la Flaminia via,

l’ora suprema calando con tacita ala mi sfiori

la fronte, e ignoto io passi ne la serena pace;

passi a i concilii de l’ombre, rivegga li spiriti magni

de i padri conversanti lungh’esso il fiume sacro.


ROME, on thine air I cast my soul adrift,

To soar sublime; do thou, O Rome, receive

This soul of mine and flood it with thy light.

Not curiously concerned with little things

To thee I come; who is there that would seek

For butterflies beneath the Arch of Titus?


Do thou but shed thine azure round me, Rome,

Illumine me with sunlight; all-divine

Are the sun's rays in thy vast azure spaces.

They bless alike the dusky Vatican,

The beauteous Quirinal, and ancient there

The Capitol, amongst all ruins holy.

And from thy seven hills thou stretchest forth

Thine arms, O Rome, to meet the love diffused,

A radiant splendor, through the quiet air.

The solitudes of the Campagna form

That nuptial-couch; and thou, O hoar Soratte,

Thou art the witness in eternity.

O Alban Moutains, sing ye smilingly

The epithalamium; green Tusculum

Sing thou; and sing, O fertile Tivoli!

Whilst I from the Janiculum look down

With wonder on the city's pictured form—

A mighty ship, launched toward the world's dominion.

O ship, whose poop rising on high attains

The infinite, bear with thee on thy passage

My soul unto the shores of mystery!

Let me, when fall those twilights radiant

With the white jewels of the coming night,

Quietly linger on the Flaminian Way;

Then may the hour supreme, in fleeing, brush

With silent wing my forehead, while I pass

Unknown through this serenity of peace,

Pass to the Councils of the Shades, and see

Once more the lofty spirits of the Fathers

Conversing there beside the sacred river.


Not under a steel nib that scratches in nasty furrows
its dull thoughts onto dry white paper;

but under the ripe sun, as breezes gust
through wide-open clearings beside a swift stream,

the heart’s sighs, dwindling into infinity, are born,
the sweet, wistful flower of melody is born.

Here redolent May shines in rose-scented air,
brilliant the hollow eyes, hearts asleep in their chests;

the heart sleeps, but ears are easily roused
by the chromatic cries of La Gioconda.

O Muses’ altar of green, white-capped
above the sea. Alcman leads the chaste choir:

“I want to fly with you, maidens, fly into a dance,
as the kingfisher flies drawn by halcyons:

he flies with halcyons over spindrift waves in a gale,
kingfisher, purple herald of spring.

Snowfall / Nevicata

A light snow falls through an ashy sky.
From the city no sounds rise up, no human cries,

not the grocer’s call or the ruckus of his cart,
no light-hearted song of being young and in love.

From the tower in the piazza, the quinsied hours
moan, sighing as if from a world far off.

Flocks of birds beat against the misted glass:
ghosts of friends returned, peering in, calling to me.

Soon, O my dears, soon—peace, indomitable heart—
I will sift down to silence, in shadow rest.

At the station

in an autumn morning

O the lamps—how they chase

each other lazily there behind the trees,

yawning their light through dripping

branches onto the mud.

Faint, fine, shrill, a nearby

steam engine hisses. A lead sky

and the autumn morning

enwrap us like a great chimera.

Where and to what are they going, these people,

cloaked and silent, hurrying to dark cars—

to what unforeseeable sorrows

or pangs of remote hope?

Even you, rapt Lydia, give

to the conductor your torn ticket,

and to pressing time your beautiful years,

your memories and moments of joy.

Along the black train come

the trainmen hooded in black

like shadows, with dim lanterns

and iron sledges, and the iron

brakes when plied make a long

enervated clang: from the soul’s depths,

an echo of languor makes its sad

reply, like a shudder.

And the doors slammed shut

seem like outrages: a quick jibe

sounds the final farewell:

thundering on heavy panes, the rain.

Already the monster, owning its metallic

soul, fumes, slouches, pants, opens

wide its fiery eyes; defies the heavens,

whistling through the gloom.

The unholy monster goes; with a horrible tug,

beating its wings, it carries away my love.

Ah, the alabaster face and fine veil,

hailing me, disappear in darkness.

O sweet face of pale rose,

o starlit placid eyes, o snow-white

forehead ringed with luxuriant curls

gently bending in a nod of love.

The warm air was throbbing with life;

the summer throbbed when she looked on me,

and the youthful June sun

liked to shower her cheek

with kisses of light, reflected through

auburn hair: like a halo

more brilliant than the sun, my dreams

encircle her soft shape . . .

Beneath the rain, I return through

the haze; and I would lose myself in it.

I stagger like a drunk. I touch myself

to see if I also have become a ghost.

O how the leaves are falling—cold,

incessant, mute, heavy—on my soul.

I know that everywhere in the world,

solitary and eternal, it is November.

Better he who’s lost the sense of life,

better this shadow, this haze:

I want O how I want to lie myself down

in doldrums that will last forever.