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ARIOSTO, Luduvico

Orlando furioso -

La notte Orlando alle noiose piume

Del veloci pensier fa parte essai

Or quinci or quindi il volta, or lo rassume
tutto in un loco, e non l’afferma mai:
qual d’acqua chiara il tremolante lume,
dal sol percossa o da’ notturni rai,
per gli ampli tetti va con lungo salto
A desta et a sinistra e basso et alto

All night long counsel of his weary bed,
Vexed with a ceaseless care, Orlando sought;
Now here, now there, the restless fancy sped,
Now turned, now seized, but never held the thought:
As when, from sun or nightly planet shed,
Clear water has the quivering radiance caught,
The flashes through the spacious mansion fly,
With reaching leap, right, left, and low, and high.

Tra il fin d'ottobre e il capo di novembre,

ne la stagion che la frondosa vesta

vede levarsi e discporir le membre

trepida pianta, fin che nuda resta,

e van gli augelli a strette schiere insembre,

Orlando entrò ne l'amorosa inchiesta:

né tutto il verno lasciò quella,

né la lasciò ne la stagion novella


Between October and November’s moon,
In that dull season when the leafy vest
Is stript from trembling plant, whose limbs are shown
Of all their mantling foliage dispossess’d
And in close flights the swarming birds are flown,
Orlando enters on his amorous quest:
This he pursues the livelong winter through,
Nor quits when gladsome spring returns anew.

Vertaling: William Stewart Rose

This dog won’t hunt. This horse won’t jump. You get

the general drift. However, he keeps on trying,

but the fire won’t burn, the kindling is wet,

and the faint glow of the ember is weak and dying.

He has no other choice then but to let

It go and take a nap on the ground there, lying

Next to her—for whom Dame Fortune has more

Woes and tribulations yet in store.