mercoledì 20 luglio 2011


(Riuscirò mai ad avere la forza di scuotermi, di riacchiapparmi e di  tornare con la testa - almeno con quella - qui sulla terra?)

One morn before me were three figures seen,
    With bowèd necks, and joinèd hands, side-faced;
And one behind the other stepped serene,
    In placid sandals, and in white robes graced:
They passed, like figures on a marble urn,
    When shifted round to see the other side;
        They came again; as when the urn once more
Is shifted round, the first seen shades return;
    And they were strange to me, as may betide
        With vases, to one deep in Phidian lore.

How is it, Shadows, that I knew ye not?
    How came ye muffled in so hush a masque?
Was it a silent deep-disguisèd plot
    To steal away, and leave without a task
My idle days?  Ripe was the drowsy hour;
    The blissful cloud of summer indolence
        Benumbed my eyes; my pulse grew less and less;
Pain had no sting, and pleasure's wreath no flower;
    Oh, why did ye not melt, and leave my sense
        Unhaunted quite of all but - nothingness?

A third time passed they by, and, passing, turned
    Each one the face a moment while to me;
Then faded, and to follow them I burned
    And ached for wings because I knew the three:
The first was a fair maid, and Love her name;
    The second was Ambition, pale of cheek,
        And ever watchful with fatiguèd eye;
The last, whom I love more, the more of blame
    Is heaped upon her, maiden most unmeek, -
        I knew to be my demon Poesy.

They faded, and, forsooth!  I wanted wings.
    Oh, folly!  What is Love? And where is it?
And for that poor Ambition - it springs
    From a man's little heart's short fever-fit.
For Poesy! - no, - she has not a joy -
    At least for me - so sweet as drowsy noons,
        And evenings steep'd in honeyed indolence.
Oh, for an age so sheltered from annoy
    That I may never know how change the moons,
        Or hear the voice of busy common-sense!

A third time came they by. Alas, wherefore?
    My sleep had been embroidered with dim dreams;
My soul had been a lawn besprinkled o'er
    With flowers, and stirring shades, and baffled beams:
The morn was clouded, but no shower fell,
    Though in her lids hung the sweet tears of May;
        The open casement press'd a new-leaved vine,
    Let in the budding warmth and throstle's lay;
O Shadows,  'twas a time to bid farewell!
        Upon your skirts had fallen no tears of mine.

So, ye three Ghosts, adieu!  Ye cannot raise
    My head cool-bedded in the flowery grass;
For I would not be dieted with praise,
    A pet-lamb in a sentimental farce!
Fade softly from my eyes, and be once more
    In masque-like figures on the dreamy urn.

        Farewell!  I yet have visions for the night,
And for the day faint visions there is store.
        Vanish, ye Phantoms, from my idle sprite
    Into the clouds, and never more return!

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