by Carlo Clausetti (1869 - 1943)
Translation by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

Ballata delle gnomidi
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): FRE
Traducono lo gnomo 
anfanante le donne, 
date al vento le gonne 
sottilissime. L'omo 

minuscolo sgambetta, 
sospeso fra le due
donne che sono sue 
e un sol talamo aspetta.

O gnomidi, la corsa 
non sia per lunga strada, 
perchè stanco non cada 
egli, al cader dell'Orsa! 

Non fu accesa una teda 
al connubio difforme, 
ma fuori erano torme 
di gnomi ansii di preda.

E ne la notte crebra 
alto un grido si udì,
doloroso così 
da fugar la tenèbra. 

Silenzio, indi. La nova 
alba nascea. Le insane 
mogli la spoglia inane
trassero da l'alcova.

E andarono con essa, 
seguite da la furba 
degli omuncoli turba 
che brulicava spessa

e borbottava preci 
degne sol di anatema, 
nel gergo da blasfema 
che tra le inferne peci

s'ode. Per un cammino 
aspro, giunsero a un largo
poggio che il dritto margo
ergea sovra un turchino 

mare. Il sozzo marito 
in un attimo fu 
precipitato giù. 
Ed ebbe fine il rito.

Ora del poggio al mezzo 
danzano le due donne, 
dopo la notte insonne, 
al mattinale orezzo. 

E, mentre il giorno avanza,
la piccoletta gente
s'unisce ale cruente 
vedove ne la danza.

E l'un grida e l'un gabba, 
l'altro morde o sghignazza: 
tutti avvolge la pazza 
furia, come in un sabba.

Note: this text is the inspiration for an orchestral work by Respighi.

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):

  • ENG English (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , title 1: "The ballad of the gnomides", published 1920
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "La ballade des gnomes", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2016-08-15 00:00:00
Last modified: 2016-08-15 16:15:48
Line count: 52
Word count: 206

The ballad of the gnomides
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
Dragging the raving gnome,
the women go,
abandoning their flimsy draperies
to the wind.

The diminutive man gambols
between those, his two
brides, whom 
a single nuptial bed awaits.

Oh! gnomides, let the race
be brief, 
lest he weary fall 
when falls the Bear!

No torch was lighted
at the distorted nuptials,
but without, hordes of gnomes
were waiting, eager for the prey.

And in the thick night
a sharp cry resounded,
so painful as to 
rout the darkness.

Then silence. The new 
dawn was breaking; the mad
wives drew their vain booty
from the alcove

And fled with it,
followed by the cunning throng
of manlings thickly 
swarming about

And muttering prayers
worthy only of the anathemas to be heard,
in blaspheming jargon,
in the depths infernal.

By a rough path,
they reached a broad hill
whose sharp ridge
overlooked a sea of blue.

In a twinkling 
the filthy husband 
was downward hurled 
and the rite thus ended.

Now on the summit of the hill,
after their sleepless night,
the two women dance
in the morning breeze.

And, while the day is breaking,
the tiny people 
join in the dance
of the cruel widows.

One shrieks, another mocks,
still another bites or laughs aloud;
a wild frenzy possesses them all,
as in a sabbath.

From the Respighi score. We have corrected two typos: stanza 3, line 3 (less -> lest) and the last stanza, line 2 (stil -> still).

Authorship

Based on

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

    [ None yet in the database ]


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2016-08-15 00:00:00
Last modified: 2016-08-15 17:20:26
Line count: 52
Word count: 215