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Boyhood's end

Language: English

What, then, did I want? What did I ask to have? 
If the question had been put to me then, 
and if I had been capable of expressing what was in me, 
I should have replied: 
I want only to keep what I have. 
To rise each morning and look out on the sky 
and the grassy dew-wet Earth, 
from day to day, from year to year.
To watch each June and July for spring, 
to feel the same old sweet surprise and delight 
at th'appearance of each familiar flower, 
ev'ry new-born insect, ev'ry bird 
returned once more from the north.
To listen in a trance of delight 
to the wild notes of the golden plover 
coming once more to the great plain, 
flying south, flock succeeding flock 
the whole day long. 
Oh, those wild beautiful cries of the golden plover! 
I could exclaim with Hafiz with but one word changed: 
If after a thousand years 
that sound should float o'er my tomb, 
my bones uprising in their gladness 
would dance in the sepulchre.  
To climb trees and put my hand down 
in the deep hot nest of the Bienteveo 
and feel the hot eggs, 
the five long-pointed cream coloured eggs,
with choc'late spots and splashes at the larger end.
To lie on a grassy bank, with the blue water 
between me and beds of tall bulrushes, 
list'ning to the mysterious sounds of the wind 
and of hidden rails and coots and courlands 
conversing together in strange human-like tones;
to let my sight dwell and feast 
on the camaloté flower 
amid its floating masses of moist vivid green leaves, 
the large almanda-like flower of a purest divine yellow 
that, when plucked, leaves you with nothing 
but a green stem in your hand.  To ride at noon 
on the hottest days when the whole Earth is a-glitter 
with illusory water and see the cattle and horses 
in thousands cov'ring the plain 
at their watering places, 
to visit some haunt of large birds 
at that still, hot hour 
and see storks, ibises, grey herons, 
egrets of a dazzling whiteness 
and rose-coloured spoon-bills 
and flamingoes standing in the shallow water 
in which their motionless forms are reflected. 
To lie on my back on the rust-brown grass in January, 
to gaze up at the wide hot whity-blue sky, 
peopled with millions and myriads of glist'ning balls 
of thistledown, ever floating by. 
To gaze and gaze, until they are to me living things, 
and I, in an ecstasy am with them, 
floating in that immense shining void!


Translation(s): ITA

List of language codes

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Authorship


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Fine della fanciullezza", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:34
Line count: 58
Word count: 422

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Fine della fanciullezza

Language: Italian (Italiano) after the English

Che cosa, allora, volevo? Che cosa chiedevo di avere? 
Se la  domanda mi fosse stata fatta allora, 
e se fossi stato in grado di esprimere ciò che era in me, 
avrei risposto così: 
Voglio solo mantenere quello che ho.
Svegliarmi ogni mattina e contemplare il cielo 
e l'erba bagnata di rugiada, 
giorno dopo giorno, anno dopo anno. 
Tornare a scoprire ogni anno, a giugno e a luglio, la primavera; 
ritrovare la antica e dolce sensazione di sorpresa e di gioia 
davanti alla comparsa di ogni fiore familiare, 
di ogni insetto appena nato, di ogni uccello 
ancora una volta ritornato dal Nord. 
Ascoltare in gioiosa estasi le note selvagge 
del piviere dorato che viene ancora 
una volta verso la grande pianura, 
volando verso Sud, in grandi stormi 
che arrivano l'uno dopo l'altro per tutto il giorno. 
Oh, quelle grida selvagge e belle del piviere dorato! 
Potrei esclamare, citando Hafiz e cambiando solo una parola: 
se dopo mille anni questo suono 
dovesse echeggiare sopra la mia tomba, 
le mie ossa risorgerebbero per la gioia 
e danzerebbero nel sepolcro.  
Vorrei arrampicarmi sugli alberi e mettere la mia mano 
sotto il fondo caldo del nido con le sue 
cinque uova tiepide di forma allungata e di colore crema, 
con macchie e schizzi color cioccolata 
sul lato più arrotondato.  
Stare disteso sopra una sponda erbosa, con l'acqua azzurra 
tra me e alti cespugli di giunchi, 
ascoltando i suoni misteriosi del vento 
e il verso di ralli e folaghe che sembrano 
conversare fra loro in toni quasi umani; 
lasciare che il mio sguardo indugi, 
per assaporarne le bellezza, sul fiore della ninfea 
tra le sue masse galleggianti di umide foglie d'un verde intenso, 
il gigantesco fiore di un divino purissimo color giallo 
che, una volta raccolto, ti lascia nelle mani niente 
altro che un gambo verde. Correre nel meriggio dei giorni 
più caldi, quando la Terra intera è tutta un brillio 
di illusori miraggi di acque e osservare il bestiame e i cavalli 
sparsi a migliaia per la vallata 
o presso i luoghi dove vanno ad abbeverarsi, 
o visitare qualche tana di grandi uccelli 
in quelle ore di quieta calura, 
per osservare cicogne, ibis, aironi cenerini, 
garzette di un candore abbagliante 
e fenicotteri dal becco rosa 
in piedi nell'acqua bassa 
in cui si riflette la loro immobile figura. 
A gennaio sdraiarmi sulla schiena sull'erba color ruggine,
levare lo sguardo in alto verso il vasto azzurro abbagliante del cielo, 
popolato da milioni e miriadi di luccicanti sfere 
di lanugine del cardo, che continuano a volteggiare ovunque. 
Contemplarle e ammirarle, fino a che diventano per me cose viventi, 
e io, in un'estasi mi unisco a loro, 
fluttuando in quell'immenso spazio splendente!


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Authorship

  • Translation from English to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2012 by Ferdinando Albeggiani, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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Based on

 

Text added to the website: 2012-07-03.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:58
Line count: 58
Word count: 443