Durante il mese di Luglio 2010 ho registrato cinque video che non saprei definire in modo diverso da “su Keats”. Mi aveva messo in difficoltà a suo tempo mettere -keats- tra i tags, così come adesso sono impacciata nell’includerlo nel sito.

Ma per quei video avevo raccolto numerosi testi, all’epoca sul vecchio forum (ora offline), quindi ho pensato di ripostarli qui:

Links utili:


10 (?) February 1820

My dearest Girl –

If illness makes such an agreeable variety in the manner of your eyes I should wish you sometimes to be ill. I wish I had read your note before you went last night that I might have assured you how far I was from suspecting any coldness: You had a just right to be a little silent to one who speaks so plainly to you. You must believe you shall, you will that I can do nothing say nothing think nothing of you but what has its spring in the Love which has so long been my pleasure and torment. On the night I was taken ill when so violent a rush of blood came to my Lungs that I felt nearly suffocated – I assure you I felt it possible I might not survive and at that moment though[ t] of nothing but you – When I said to Brown ‘this is unfortunate’ I thought of you – ‘T is true that since the first two or three days other subjects have entered my head – I shall be looking forward to Health and the Spring and a regular routine of our old Walks. Your affectionate

J.K –

February (?) 1820

My sweet love, I shall wait patiently till tomorrow before I see you, and in the mean time, if there is any need of such a thing, assure you by your Beauty, that whenever I have at any time written on a certain unpleasant subject, it has been with your welfare impress’d upon my mind. How hurt I should have been had you ever acceded to what is, notwithstanding, very reasonable! How much the more do I love you from the general result! In my present state of Health I feel too much separated from you and could almost speak to you in the words of Lorenzo’s Ghost to Isabella

Your Beauty grows upon me and I feel
A greater love through all my essence steal.

My greatest torment since I have known you has been the fear of you being a little inclined to the Cressid; but that suspicion I dismiss utterly and remain happy in the surety of your Love, which I assure you is as much a wonder to me as a delight. Send me the words “Good night” to put under my pillow.

Dearest Fanny,
Your affectionate

February (?) 1820

My dearest Girl,

According to all appearances I am to be separated from you as much as possible. How I shall be able to bear it, or whether it will not be worse than your presence now and then, I cannot tell. I must be patient, and in the meantime you must think of it as little as possible. Let me not longer detain you from going to Town – there may be no end to this imprisoning of you. Perhaps you had better not come before tomorrow evening: send me however without fail a good night You know our situation – what hope is there if I should be recovered ever so soon – my very health with [for will] not suffer me to make any great exertion. I am recommended not even to read poetry much less write it. I wish I had even a little hope. I cannot say forget me – but I would mention that there are impossibilities in the world. No more of this – I am not strong enough to be weaned – take no notice of it in your good night. Happen what may I shall ever be my dearest Love

Your affectionate

February (?) 1820

My dearest Girl, how could it ever have been my wish to forget you? how could I have said such a thing? The utmost stretch my mind has been capable of was to endeavour to forget you for your own sake seeing what a change [for chance] there was of my remaining in a precarious state of health. I would have borne it as I would bear death if fate was in that humour: but I should as soon think of choosing to die as to part from you. Believe too my Love that our friends think and speak for the best, and if their best is not our best it is not their fault, When I am better I will speak with you at large on these subjects, if there is any occasion – I think there is none. I am rather nervous to day perhaps from being a little recovered and suffering my mind to take little excursions beyond the doors and windows. I take it for a good sign, but as it must not be encouraged you had better delay seeing me till tomorrow. Do not take the trouble of writing much: merely send me my goodnight. Remember me to your Mother and Margaret. Your affectionate


February (?) 1820

My dearest Fanny,

I read your note in bed last night, and that might be the reason of my sleeping so much better. I think Mr Brown is right in supposing you may stop too long with me, so very nervous as I am. Send me every evening a written Good night. If you come for a few minutes about six it may be the best time. Should you ever fancy me too low-spirited I must warn you to ascbribe [for ascribe] it to the medicine I am at present taking which is of a nerve-shaking nature – I shall impute any depression I may experience to this cause. I have been writing with a vile old pen the whole week, which is excessively ungallant. The fault is in the Quill: I have mended it and still it is very much inclin’d to make blind es. However these last lines are in a much better style of penmanship thof [for though] a little disfigured by the smear of black currant jelly; which has made a little mark on one of the Pages of Brown’s Ben Jonson, the very best book he has. I have lick’d it but it remains very purplue [for purple]. I did not know whether to say purple or blue, so in the mixture of the thought wrote purplue which may be an excellent name for a colour made up of those two, and would suit well to start next spring. Be very careful of open doors and windows and going without your duffle grey God bless you Love ! –

J. Keats-

P .S. I am sitting in the back room – Remember me to your Mother –

February (?) 1820

My dear Fanny,

Do not let your mother suppose that you hurt me by writing at night. For some reason or other your last night’s note was not so treasureable as former ones. I would fain that you call me Love still. To see you happy and in high spirits is a great consolation to me – still let me believe that you are not half so happy as my restoration would make you. I am nervous, I own, and may think myself worse than I really am; if so you must indulge me, and pamper with that sort of tenderness you have manifested towards me in different Letters. My sweet creature when I look back upon the pains and torments I have suffer’d for you from the day I left you to go to the Isle of Wight; the ecstasies in which I have pass’d some days and the miseries in their turn, I wonder the more at the Beauty which has kept up the spell so fervently. When I send this round I shall be in the front parlour watching to see you show yourself for a minute in the garden. How illness stands as a barrier betwixt me and you! Even if I was well – I must make myself as good a Philosopher as possible. Now I have had opportunities of passing nights anxious and awake I have found other thoughts intrude upon me. “If I should die,” said I to myself, “I have left no immortal work behind me – nothing to make my friends proud of my memory – but I have lov’d the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had had time I would have made myself remember’d.” Thoughts like these came very feebly whilst I was in health and every pulse beat for you – now you divide with this (may I say it?) “last infirmity of noble minds” all my reflection.

God bless you, Love.
J. Keats.

24 (?) February 1820

My dearest Girl,

Indeed I will not deceive you with respect to my Health. This is the fact as far as I know. I have been confined three weeks and am not yet well – this proves that there is something wrong about me which my constitution will either conquer or give way to – Let us hope for the best. Do you hear the Th[r]ush singing over the field? I think it is a sign of mild weather – so much the better for me. Like all Sinners now I am ill I philosophise, aye out of my attachment to every thing, Trees, flowers, Thrushes Sp[ r]ing, Summer, Claret &c &c aye every thing but you – – my Sister would be glad of my company a little longer. That Thrush is a fine fellow. I hope he was fortunate in his choice this year. Do not send any more of my Books home. I have a great pleasure in the thought of you looking on them.

Ever yours
my sweet Fanny

27 (?) February 1820

My dearest Fanny,

I had a better night last night than I have had since my attack, and this morning I am the same as when you saw me. I have been turning over two volumes of Letters written between Ro[u]sseau and two Ladies in the perplexed strain of mingled finesse and sentiment in which the Ladies and gentlemen of those days were so clever, and which is still prevalent among Ladies of this Country who live in a state of reasoning romance. The Likeness however only extends to the mannerism not to the dexterity. What would Rousseau have said at seeing our little correspondence! What would his Ladies have said! I don’t care much – I would sooner have Shakspeare’s opinion about the matter. The common gossiping of washerwomen must be less disgusting than the continual and eternal fence and attack of Rousseau and these sublime Petticoats. One calls herself Clara and her friend Julia two of Ro[u]sseau’s Heroines – they all the same time christen poor Jean Jacques St Preux – who is the pure cavalier of his famous novel. Thank God I am born in England with our own great Men before my eyes – Thank god that you are fair and can love me without being Letter-written and sentimentaliz’d into it – Mr Barry Cornwall has sent me another Book, his first, with a polite note – I must do what I can to make him sensible of the esteem I have for his kindness. If this north east would take a turn it would be so much the better for me. Good bye, my love, my dear love, my beauty-

love me for ever-

29 (?) February 1820

My dear Fanny,

I think you had better not make any long stay with me when Mr Brown is at home. Wh[en]ever he goes out you may bring your work. You will have a pleasant walk to day. I shall see you pass. I shall follow you with my eyes over the Heath. Will you come towards evening instead of before dinner – when you are gone, ‘t is past – if you do not come till the evening I have something to look forward to all day. Come round to my window for a moment when you have read this. Thank your Mother, for the preserves, for me. The raspberry will be too sweet not having any acid; therefore as you are so good a girl I shall make you a present of it. Good bye

My sweet Love!
J. Keats

July 25th, 1819

Sunday night

My Sweet Girl,
I hope you did not blame me much for not obeying your request of a Letter on Saturday: we have had four in our small room playing at cards night and morning leaving me no undisturbed opportunity to write. Now Rice and Martin are gone I am at liberty. Brown to my sorrow confirms the account you give of your ill health. You cannot conceive how I ache to be with you: how I would die for one hour – for what is in the world? I say you cannot conceive; it is impossible you should look with such eyes upon me as I have upon you: it cannot be. Forgive me if I wander a little this evening, for I have been all day employed in a very abstract Poem and I am in deep love with you – two things which must excuse me. I have, believe me, not been an age in letting you take possession of me; the very first week I knew you I wrote myself your vassal; but burnt the Letter as the very next time I saw you I thought you manifested some dislike to me. If you should ever feel for Man at the first sight what I did for you, I am lost. Yet I should not quarrel with you, but hate myself if such a thing were to happen – only I should burst if the thing were not as fine as a Man as you are as a Woman. Perhaps I am too vehement, then fancy me on my knees, especially when I mention a part of your Letter which hurt me; you say speaking of Mr Severn “but you must be satisfied in knowing that I admired you much more than your friend.” My dear love, I cannot believe there ever was or ever could be any thing to admire in me especially as far as sight goes – I cannot be admired, I am not a thing to be admired. You are, I love you; all I can bring you is a swooning admiration of your Beauty. I hold that place among Men which snub-nosed brunettes with meeting eyebrows do among women – they are trash to me – unless I should find one among them with a fire in her heart like the one that burns in mine. You absorb me in spite of myself – you alone: for I look not forward with any pleasure to what is called being settled in the world; I tremble at domestic cares – yet for you I would meet them, though if it would leave you the happier I would rather die than do so. I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks, your Loveliness and the hour of my death. O that I could have possession of them both in the same minute. I hate the world: it batters too much the wings of my self-will, and would I could take a sweet poison from your lips to send me out of it. From no others would I take it. I am indeed astonished to find myself so careless of all charms but yours – remembering as I do the time when even a bit of ribband was a matter of interest with me. What softer words can I find for you after this – what it is I will not read. Nor will I say more here, but in a postscript answer anything else you may have mentioned in your letter in so many words – for I am distracted with a thousand thoughts. I will imagine you Venus tonight and pray, pray, pray to your star like a Heathen.
Yours ever, fair Star,
John Keats

My seal is mark’d like a family table cloth with my Mother’s initial F for Fanny: put between my Father’s initials. You will soon hear from me again. My respectful Compts to your Mother. Tell Margaret I’ll send her a reef of best rocks and tell Sam I will give him my light bay hunter if he will tie the Bishop hand and foot and pack him in a hamper and send him down for me to bathe him for his health with a Necklace of good snubby stones about his Neck.

May 3, 1818

“. . .I love you; all I can bring you is a swooning admiration of your Beauty. . . . You absorb me in spite of myself–you alone: for I look not forward with any pleasure to what is call’d being settled in the world; I tremble at domestic cares–yet for you I would meet them, though if it would leave you the happier I would rather die than do so. I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks, your Loveliness and the hour of my death. O that I could have possession of them both in the same minute. I hate the world: it batters too much the wings of my self-will, and would I could take a sweet poison from your lips to send me out of it. From no others would I take it. I am indeed astonish’d to find myself so careless of all charms but yours–remembering as I do the time when even a bit of ribband was a matter of interest with me. What softer words can I find for you after this–what it is I will not read. Nor will I say more here, but in a Postscript answer any thing else you may have mentioned in your Letter in so many words–for I am distracted with a thousand thoughts. I will imagine you Venus tonight and pray, pray, pray to your star like a Hethen.”

When I have fears
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love! – then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.Quando ho paura che io possa cessar di esistere
prima che la mia penna abbia spigolato il mio fertile cervello
tenuto come i ricchi granai pieni di grano maturo;
quando vedo sul viso della notte stellata
immense nuvole simboli di una grande storia
e penso che non potrò mai vivere per rintracciarne
le ombre con la magica mano del caso;
e quando sento, bella creatura di un’ora!
che non ti guarderò mai più,
e che non avrò mai l’immensa gioia del favoloso potere
di un amore folle! – Allora sulla riva
del vasto mondo rimango da solo, e penso
finché l’amore e la fama affondano nel nulla.

Read me a lesson, Muse, and speak it loud

Read me a lesson, Muse, and speak it loud
Upon the top of Nevis, blind in mist!
I look into the chasms, and a shroud
Vaporous doth hide them, — just so much I wist
Mankind do know of hell; I look o’erhead,
And there is sullen mist, — even so much
Mankind can tell of heaven; mist is spread
Before the earth, beneath me, — even such,
Even so vague is man’s sight of himself!
Here are the craggy stones beneath my feet, —
Thus much I know that, a poor witless elf,
I tread on them, — that all my eye doth meet
Is mist and crag, not only on this height,
But in the world of thought and mental might!

Insegnami una lezione, o Musa, e recitala forte
In cima al Nevis, cieco di nebbia!
Guardo nei baratri, e un sudario
Vaporoso me li nasconde – Solo questo io credo
L’umanità conosca del Paradiso; la nebbia si spande
Sulla terra, sotto di me – anche così
E’ così vaga la visione di un uomo su se stesso!
Qui ci sono aspre rocce sotto i miei piedi –
Così tanto io so che, povero folletto incosciente,
Le calpesto, – e tutto ciò che i miei occhi incontrano
E’ nebbia e rupi, non solo a questa altezza,
Ma nel mondo del pensiero e della potenza mentale!

La Belle Dame Sans Merci


O WHAT can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.


O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms!
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.


I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.


I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful – a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.


I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She look’d at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.


I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.


She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna dew,
And sure in language strange she said –
«I love thee true.»


She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept, and sigh’d fill sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.


And there she lulled me asleep,
And there I dream’d – Ah! woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dream’d
On the cold hill’s side.


I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried – «La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!»


I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.


And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Cosa ti tormenta, o cavaliere armato,
solo e pallido errante?
Giace prostrato il giunco in riva al lago,
né uccello canta.

Cosa ti tormenta, o cavaliere armato,
così smunto e abbattuto?
Lo scoiattolo ha colmo il suo granaio,
e fu colto ogni frutto.

Un giglio hai sulla fronte
rugiadosa di febbre e di tormento,
e sulla guancia una rosa appassita
rapidamente muore.

Una dama incontrai
bella nei prati, figlia delle fate;
lunghi i capelli e il passo suo leggero,
e gli occhi folli.

Composi una ghirlanda per il suo capo,
e braccialetti e un cinto
fragrante, mi guardava innamorata,
con un dolce lamento.

Sul mio corsiero al passo la posai,
né altro vidi quel giorno,
ché reclina da un lato ella cantava
canzoni d’incantesimo.

Cercò per mo dolci radici e miele
e rugiada di manna;
nel suo ignoto linguaggio alla mi disse:
“Amo te solo”.

Nella magica grotta mi condusse,
là pianse disperata e sospirò,
là io le chiusi i folli folli occhi
con quattro baci.

Mi cullò fino al sonno,
là misero sognai l’ultimo sogno
da me sognato mai lungo il pendio
della fredda collina.

Vidi pallidi re, guerrieri e principi
dal mortale pallore che gridavano:
“La belle Dame sans merci
ti ha preso nella rete”.

Nel crepuscolo vidi le arse labbra
in orrida minaccia spalancate,
e quivi mi svegliai lungo il pendio
della fredda collina.

Per questo io qui soggiorno
solo e pallido errante,
benché il giunco è prostrato in riva al lago,
né uccello canta.

Bright Star

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art –
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors –
No – yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever – or else swoon to death.

Fulgida stella, fossi fermo come tu lo sei
ma non in solitario splendore sospeso alto nella notte,
a vegliare, con le palpebre rimosse in eterno,
come paziente di natura, insonne eremita,
le mobili acque al loro dovere sacerdotale
di puro lavacro intorno a rive umane,
oppure guardare la nuova maschera dolcemente caduta
della neve sopra i monti e le pianure.
No – pure sempre fermo, sempre senza mutamento,
vorrei riposare sul guanciale del puro seno del mio amore,
sentirne per sempre la discesa dolce dell’onda e il sollevarsi,
sempre desto in una dolce inquietudine
a udire sempre, sempre il suo respiro attenuato,
e così vivere in eterno – o se no venir meno nella morte.

Ode to a Nightingale
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
’Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,-
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.


O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provencal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:


Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.


Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.


I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
And mid-May’s eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.


Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain –
To thy high requiem become a sod.


Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.


Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toil me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music: – Do I wake or sleep?




Il cuore mi duole, e un sonnolento torpore affligge
i miei sensi, come se della cicuta io abbia bevuto,
o vuotato un greve sonnifero fino alle fecce
or è solo un minuto, e verso Lete sia sprofondato:
non è per invidia della tua felice sorte,
ma per esser troppo felice nella tua felicità,
che tu, Driade degli alberi dalle ali leggere,
in un melodioso recinto
verde di faggi, e dalle ombre innumerevoli,
canti dell’estate agevolmente a gola piena.


Oh, per un sorso della vendemmia! che sia stato
rinfrescato per lungo tempo nella terra profondamente scavata,
sàpido di Flora e del rustico prato,
di danza, e canzoni provenzali, e dell’assolata allegria!
Oh! per una coppa piena del tepido Mezzogiorno,
pieno del vero, del rosato Ippocrene,
con perlate bolle occhieggianti sull’orlo,
e la bocca macchiata di porpora:
ch’io potessi bere, e lasciare il mondo non veduto,
e con te vanire via nella foresta opaca:


vanir via lontano, dissolvermi, e affatto dimenticare
ciò che tu tra le foglie non hai mai conosciuto,
il languore, la febbre, e l’ansia
qui, dove gli uomini seggono e odon l’un l’altro gemere;
dove la paralisi scuote pochi, tristi, ultimi capelli grigi,
dove la giovinezza si fa pallida e spettrale, e muore;
dove pur il pensare è un esser pieni di dolore
e di disperazioni dagli occhi plumbei,
dove la Bellezza non può serbare i suoi occhi luminosi,
o il nuovo Amore struggersi per essi più là di domani.


Via! via! perché io voglio fuggire a te,
non tratto sul carro da Bacco e dai suoi leopardi,
ma sulle invisibili ali della Poesia,
benché l’ottuso cervello confonda e ritardi:
già con te! tenera è la notte,
e forse la Regina Luna è sul suo trono,
con a grappoli intorno tutte le sue Fate stellari;
ma qui non c’è luce alcuna,
fuor di quanta dal cielo con le brezze spira
per verdeggianti tenebre e sinuose vie di muschi.


Io non posso vedere quali fiori siano ai miei piedi,
né che molle incenso penda sulle fronde,
ma, nella profumata oscurità, indovino ogni dolcezza
di cui il mese propizio dota
l’erba, il boschetto, e il selvaggio albero da frutta;
il biancospino, e la pastorale eglantina;
viole che presto appassiscono ricoperte di foglie;
e la figliuola maggiore del mezzo maggio,
la veniente rosa muscosa, piena di rugiadoso vino,
mormoreggiante dimora delle mosche nelle sere estive.


All’oscuro io ascolto; e ben molte volte
son io stato a mezzo innamorato della confortevole Morte
e l’ho chiamata con soavi nomi in molte meditate rime
perché si portasse nell’aria il mio tranquillo fiato;
ora più che mai sembra delizioso morire,
aver fine sulla mezzanotte, senza alcun dolore,
mentre tu versi fuori la tua anima intorno
in una tale estasi!
ancora tu canteresti, ed io avrei orecchie invano
al tuo alto requie divenuto una zolla.


Tu non nascesti per la morte, immortale Uccello!
le affannate generazioni non ti calpestano;
la voce ch’io odo in questa fuggevole notte fu udita
in antichi giorni dall’imperatore e dal villano:
forse la stessa canzone che trovò un sentiero
per il triste cuore di Ruth, quando, piena di nostalgia
ella stette in lagrime tra il grano straniero;
la stessa che spesse volte ha
affascinato magiche finestre, aperte sulla schiuma
di perigliosi mari, in fatate terre abbandonate.


Abbandonate! la parola stessa è come una campana
che rintocchi per ritrarmi da te alla mia solitudine!
Addio! la fantasia non può frodare così bene
com’ella ha fama di fare, ingannevole silfo.
Addio! addio! la tua lamentosa antifona svanisce
oltre i prati vicini, sopra la silenziosa corrente,
su per il fianco del colle; ed ora è sepolta profonda
nelle prossime radure della valle:
fu una visione, o un sogno ad occhi aperti?
fuggita è quella musica: son io desto o dormo?

Ode on a Grecian Urn
Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?


Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal – yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!


Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passions far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.


Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.


O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
«Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know».

(published 1820)

Ode a un’urna greca

Tu della quiete ancora inviolata sposa,
alunna del silenzio e del tempo tardivo,
narratrice silvestre che un racconto
fiorito puoi così più che la nostra
rima dolcemente dire,
quale leggenda adorna d’aeree fronde si posa
intorno alla tua forma?

Di deità, di mortali o pur d’entrambi,
in Tempe o nelle valli
d’Arcadia? Quali uomini
son questi o quali dei,
quali ritrose vergini,
qual folle inseguimento, qual paura,
quali zampogne e timpani,
quale selvaggia estasi?

Dolci le udite melodie: più dolci le non udite.
Dunque voi seguite, tenere cornamuse,
il vostro canto, non al facile senso, ma,
più cari, silenziosi concenti date all’intimo cuore.
Giovine bello, alla fresca ombra mai può il tuo canto languire,
né a quei rami venir meno la fronda.
Audace amante e vittorioso, mai mai tu potrai baciare,
pur prossimo alla meta, e tuttavia non darti affanno:
ella non può sfiorire e, pur mai pago,
quella per sempre tu amerai, bella per sempre.

O fortunate piante cui non tocca perder le belle foglie,
né, meste, dire addio alla primavera;
te felice, cantore non mai stanco
di sempre ritrovare canti per sempre nuovi;
ma, più felice Amore!
fervido e sempre da godere, e giovane e anelante sempre,
tu che di tanto eccedi ogni vivente passione umana,
che in cuore un solitario dolore lascia, e sdegno: amara febbre.

Chi son questi venienti al sacrificio?
E, misterioso sacerdote, a quale verde altare conduci questa,
che mugghia ai cieli, mite giovenca
di ghirlande adorna i bei fianchi di seta?
Qual piccola città, presso del fiume o in riva al mare costruita,
o sopra il monte, fra le sue placide mura,
si è vuotata di questa folla festante, in questo pio mattino?
Tu, piccola città, quelle tue strade sempre saranno silenziose
e mai non un’anima tornerà che dica perché sei desolata.

O pura attica forma! Leggiadro atteggiamento,
cui d’uomini e fanciulle e rami ed erbe calpestate
intorno fregio di marmo chiude,
invano invano il pensier nostro ardendo fino a te si consuma,
pari all’eternità, fredda, silente, imperturbabile effige.
Quando, dal tempo devastata e vinta,
questa or viva progenie anche cadrà,
fra diverso dolore, amica all’uomo,
rimarrai tu sola, “Bellezza è Verità. Verità è Bellezza.
Questo a voi, sopra la terra, di sapere è dato:
questo, non altro, a voi, sopra la terra,
è sufficiente sapere”.

To Autumn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


All’ Autunno
Stagione delle nebbie e della molle fecondità,
stretta amica del cuore del maturante sole;
che cospiri con lui per caricare e beare
di frutti le viti che intorno alle grondaie corrono;
per piegare sotto le mele i muscosi alberi della capanna,
ed empire tutti i frutti di maturità fino al torso,
per gonfiare la zucca, e arrotondare i gusci delle nocciuole
con un dolce nòcciolo; per far gemmare altri
e ancora altri, più tardivi fiori per le api,
finché esse pensino che i giorni tepidi non finiranno mai,
perché l Estate ha colmate fino all’orlo le loro viscose celle

Chi non t’ ha veduto spesso fra la tua dovizia?
Talvolta chiunque vada fuori cercando può trovar
te a sedere senza pensieri su d’ un’ aia,
i tuoi capelli mollemente sollevati dal vaglio del vento;
o su un solco mietuto a mezzo profondamente addormentato,
assopito dai fumi dei papaveri, mentre il tuo falcetto
risparmia il prossimo mannello, e tutti i suoi fiori
e talvolta come uno spigolatore tu tieni [intrecciati:
fermo il tuo capo carico attraversando un ruscello;
o presso un torchio da sidro, con sguardo paziente,
tu osservi gli ultimi trasudamenti per ore ed ore.

Dove sono i canti della Primavera? Sì, dove sono essi?
Non pensare ad essi; tu hai la tua musica pure,
mentre nuvole a sbarre fioriscono il giorno che lento muore,
e toccano i piani di stoppie con una rosea tinta;
allora in un lamentoso coro i moscerini gemono
tra i salici del fiume, portati in alto
o affondando, come il lieve vento vive o muore;
e adulti agnelli belano forte dal limite collinoso;
grilli di siepe cantano; ed ora con soave tenore
il pettirosso fischia dal recinto d’un giardino;
e le rondini si raccolgono trillando nei cieli.


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