by Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863 - 1938)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

In van preghi, in vano aneli
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
In van preghi, in vano aneli,
in van mostri il cuore infranto.
Sono forse umidi i cieli
perché noi abbiamo pianto?

Il dolor nostro è senz'ala.
Non ha volo il grido imbelle.
Piangi e prega! Qual dio cala
pel cammino delle stelle?

Abbandónati alla polve
e su lei prono ti giaci.
La supina madre assolve
d'ogni colpa chi la baci.

In un Ade senza dio
dormi quanto puoi profondo.
Tutto è sogno, tutto è oblìo:
l'asfodèlo è il fior del Mondo.

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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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , title 1: "In vain you beg", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2015-12-25 14:32:25
Line count: 16
Word count: 81

In vain you beg
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
In vain [you] beg, in vain [you] yearn,
in vain [you] show a broken heart.
Are perhaps the heaven dip
because of our tears?

Our pain is without wings.
Faint-hearted cries cannot fly.
Weep and pray! What god drops down
from the path of the stars?

Abandon yourself to the dust
and lie prone on it.
The supine mother1 absolves
the sin of each one who kisses her.

In a Hades without God,
sleep as pdeeply as possible.
Tutto is dream, all is oblivion:
the asphodel2 is the flower of the world.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Mother Earth
2 A white flower, called ἀσφόδελος in Greek. It was a favorite food of the dead in Greek mythology, and is said to carpet Hades.


  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to English copyright © 2015 by Laura Prichard, (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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Text added to the website: 2015-12-25 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-12-25 14:32:15
Line count: 16
Word count: 92