by Ada Negri (1870 - 1945)
Translation © by Mario Giuseppe Genesi

Storia breve
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Ella pareva un sogno di poeta;
Vestia sempre di bianco, e avea [sul]1 viso
La calma d'una sfinge d'Oriente:

Le cadea sino ai fianchi il crin di seta;
Trillava un canto nel suo breve riso,
Era di statua il bel corpo indolente.

Amò, non fu riamata. In fondo al core,
Tranquilla in fronte, custodì la ria
Fiamma di quell'amor senza parole.

Ma quel desio la consumò... Nell'ore
D'un crepuscol d'Ottobre ella moria,
Come verbena quando manca il sole.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Tirindelli: "nel"


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 (Mario Giuseppe Genesi) , "Brief story", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-08-18
Line count: 12
Word count: 78

Brief story
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
She seemed the dream of a poet;
Always dressed in white, and had in her face
The calmness of a Sphinx of the East.

He silky hair reached her waist;
She trilled a song in her lover's brief smile,
Her indolent body seemed a statue.

She fell in love - but was not loved in return.
Deep in her heart, in her mind, she preserved
The vivid flame of her love without saying any words about it.

But she was consumed by desire
In the twilight hour of an October day she died
Like verbena without sunlight.


  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to English copyright © 2017 by Mario Giuseppe Genesi, (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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2017-11-13
Line count: 12
Word count: 97