by Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863 - 1938)
Translation © by Barbara Miller

Sopra un'aria antica
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Non sorgono (ascolta ascolta)
le nostre parole
Da quell'aria antica?
Io t'ho dissepolta.
E alfine rivedi tu il sole,
Tu mi parli, o amica!
Queste tu parlavi parole.
Non odi? Non odi? 
Ma chi le raccolse?
Dagli alvei cavi del legno 
i tuoi modi sorgono,
Che il vento disciolse.
Dicevi: "Io ti leggo nel cuore.
Non mi ami.
Tu pensi che è l'ultima volta!"
La bocca riveggo un poco appassita.
"Non m'ami. È l'ultima volta
Ma prima che tu m'abbandoni
Il voto s'adempia.
Oh! fa che sul cuore io ti manchi!
Tu non mi perdoni se già su la tempia baciata
I capelli son bianchi?"
Guardai que' capelli, su quel collo pallido
I segni degli anni;
E ti dissi: "Ma taci! Io t'amo."
I tuoi begli occhi erano pregni di lacrime
Sotto i miei baci.
"M'inganni, m'inganni" rispondevi tu,
Le mie mani baciando.
"Che importa? Io so che m'inganni;
Ma forse domani tu m'amerai morta."
Profondo era il cielo del letto;
Ed il letto profondo come tomba, oscuro,
Era senza velo il corpo;
E nel letto profondo parea già impuro.
Vidi per l'aperto balcone un paese lontano
Solcato da un fiume volubile,
Chiuso da un serto di rupi
Che accese ardeano d'un lume vermiglio,
Nel giorno estivo; Ed i venti recavano odori
Degli orti remoti
Ove intorno andavano donne possenti
Cantando tra cupidi fiori.

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 (Barbara Miller) , title 1: "On an old aria", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Sur un air antique", 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: 2014-06-16 10:01:16
Line count: 43
Word count: 224

On an old aria
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
Are there not arising (listen, listen)
our words
From that old aria?
I have unearthed you.
And at last you see the sun again.
You speak to me, O Friend!
These are the words you spoke.
Don't you hear, Don't you hear?
But who gathered therm?
From the riverbeds carved from wood
your expressions arise,
to be scattered by the wind.
You said: "I read you in your heart.
You don't love me.
You think this is the last time!"
I see again your mouth a little withered.
"You don't love me. It is the last time.
But, before you abbandon me,
the vow will be fulfilled.
Oh, may you miss me in your heart!
You will forgive me if on my kissed temple
the hairs are white?
Look at those hairs, on that pale neck,
the signs of the years;
and I said to you "Be quiet!  I love you"
Your eyes were full of tears
under my kisses.
"You deceive me, you deceive me,"
you answered, kissing my hands.
"What does it matter? I know you deceive me;
but maybe tomorrow you'll love me if I'm dead."
Deep was the canopy of the bed;
and the deep bed, like the tomb, dark.
The body was without a veil;
and in the deep bed it seemed already impure.
I saw through the open balcony a distand land
furrowed by a meandering stream,
enclosed by a wreath of rocks
that burned brightly with a red light,
in the summer day; and the winds brought scents
from the distant gardens
around which were walking powerful women
singing amid the covetous flowers.

Authorship

  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to English copyright © 2005 by Barbara Miller, (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: 2005-08-07 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:14
Line count: 43
Word count: 270