by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822)
Translation by Giacomo Zanella (1820 - 1888)

Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Language: English 
                Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
                     Bird thou never wert -
                 That from Heaven or near itor near it
                       Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

                Higher still and higher
                     From the earth thou springest,
                Like a cloud of fire;
                     The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

                In the golden lightning
                    Of the sunken sun,
                O'er which clouds are bright'ning,
                    Thou dost float and run,
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

                 The pale purple even
                     Melts around thy flight;
                 Like a star of Heaven,
                     In the broad daylight
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight -

                 Keen as are the arrows
                     Of that silver sphere
                 Whose intense lamp narrows
                     In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

                 All the earth and air
                    With thy voice is loud,
                 As, when night is bare,
                     From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and Heaven is overflowed.

                 What thou art we know not;
                     What is most like thee?
                  From rainbow clouds there flow not
                     Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody: -

                 Like a Poet hidden
                     In the light of thought,
                 Singing hymns unbidden,
                     Till the world is wrought 
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

                 Like a high-born maiden
                     In a palace-tower,
                 Soothing her love-laden
                     Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

                 Like a glow-worm golden
                     In a dell of dew,
                 Scattering unbeholden
                     Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view:

                   Like a rose embowered
                       In its own green leaves,
                   By warm winds deflowered,
                       Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-wingèd thieves:

                   Sound of vernal showers
                       On the twinkling grass,
                   Rain-awakened flowers -
                       All that ever was
Joyous and clear and fresh - thy music doth surpass.

                    Teach us, Sprite or Bird,
                        What sweet thoughts are thine:
                     I have never heard
                         Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

                     Chorus hymeneal,
                         Or triumphal chant,
                    Matched with thine would be all
                         but an empty vaunt -
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

                    What objects are the fountains
                        Of thy happy strain?
                    What fields, or waves, or mountains?
                        What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

                     With thy clear keen joyance
                          Languor cannot be:
                     Shadow of annoyance
                         Never came near thee:
Thou lovest, but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

                     Waking or asleep,
                         Thou of death must deem
                     Things more true and deep
                         Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

                     We look before and after,
                         And pine for what is not:
                     Our sincerest laughter
                         With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

                     Yet, if we could scorn
                        Hate and pride and fear,
                     If we were things born
                         Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

                     Better than all measures
                         Of delightful sound,
                     Better than all treasures
                         That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

                     Teach me half the gladness
                         That thy brain must know;
                     Such harmonious madness
                         From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.

R. Still sets stanzas 1, 8, 12-13

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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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2004-05-02
Line count: 105
Word count: 577

Ad una allodola
Language: Italian (Italiano)  after the English 
     Salute a te, salute,
Volatrice gentil, che dai profondi
Cieli di note argute
Non meditati effondi
Torrenti di che l’alto etere inondi!

     Diritta al ciel tu sali,
Come di foco nuvoletta, e pendi;
Rotata indi sull’ali
L’immenso azzurro fendi
Ed a’ tuoi regni nuovamente ascendi.

     Nel tremolo baleno,
Che da ponente di dorata lista
Solca alle nubi il seno,
Tu navighi non vista,
Navighi d’altri cieli alla conquista.

     Del dì, che langue e manca,
Nelle diffuse porpore ravvolta,
Come una stella imbianca
Ne’ rai del dì sepolta,
Nessun ti vede e ciaschedun ti ascolta.

     I luminosi dardi
Va celando la stella a poco a poco,
Finchè si toglie a’ guardi; 
Ma se del sol nel foco
Nessun la vede, ognun ne addita il loco.

     Pieni son terra e cielo
De’ tuoi concenti; qual se d’importuna
Nube squarciando il velo,
Di subito la bruna
Immensità d’argento empia la luna.

     Chi sei? chi ti somiglia?
Dolci così dell’iride i colori
Non piovono alle ciglia,
Come de’ tuoi canori
Gorgheggi l’armonia piove sui cori.

     Sei come vate ascoso
Nell’etereo splendor de’ suoi pensieri,
Che d’inno armonïoso
Lusinga e prigionieri
Fassi i mortali al suo dolor stranieri;

     Come regal donzella
In alta torre, che cantando affida
Alla segreta cella,
Prima che il duol l’uccida,
L’occulta fiamma che nell’alma annida;

     Come un insetto d’oro,
Che sotto l’ombra di conserte fronde
Tesse sottil lavoro,
Che fra le rubiconde
Urne de’ fiori e le rugiade asconde;

     Come solinga rosa,
Che il profumato calice discioglie
All’aura ingiurïosa,
Che coll’odor le foglie
Ad una ad una nel passar le toglie.

     Di frondi tremolio,
D’erbe bisbiglio, venticel d’aprile,
Di piogge mormorio,
Quanto è quaggiù gentile,
Quanto dolce ad udir passa il tuo stile.

     Dinne, leggiadro spirto,
Quale dolcezza i tuoi concenti ispira?
Fra colmi nappi e mirto
Sì dolce non sospira
Notturno accordo d’amorosa lira.

     Cori d’allegro imene,
O di trionfo olimpiche canzoni
Accanto alle serene
Note, che disprigioni
Dall’ardente tuo cor, son freddi suoni.

     A che nascose fonti
L’onda beata attingi? a che pianure?
A che marine o monti?
Dolci d’amor le cure
Sempre ti son? non provi odî e paure?

     Al tuo gioir commista
Esser doglia non può: de’ suoi languori
Te noia non attrista;
Canti i tuoi lieti amori,
Ma dell’amor gli occulti tedî ignori.

     Sia che tu vegli o dorma,
Scerner la morte a te non si disdice
In più benigna forma,
Che a noi sognar non lice;
O sì vispa saresti e sì felice?

     Trepidi innanzi, indietro
Noi volgiam le pupille: al desco accanto
Veggiam starci il ferètro;
E se lo bagna il pianto,
Esce più dolce dalle labbra il canto.

     Pur se dolore e noia
Fossero all’uman core affetti ignoti,
Dalla serena gioia
In cui t’immergi e nuoti,
Parmi che noi saremmo ancor remoti.

     Quanti natura ed arte
Han lieti suoni: quanti fior gl’ingegni
Poser nell’auree carte,
Tu vinci, tu che sdegni
La terra ed ardui voli al vate insegni.

     Prestami i tuoi concenti!
Tali in divino rapimento immerso
Diffonderò torrenti
Di suon, che l’universo
Udrammi, come io muto odo il tuo verso.

Confirmed with Versi di Giacomo Zanella, Volume Unico, Firenze: G. Barbèra, 1868.


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: Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-07-26
Line count: 105
Word count: 510