by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822)
Translation by Roberto Ascoli ( flourished 1891-1930 )

Arethusa
Language: English 
Arethusa arose
From her couch of snows
In the Acroceraunian mountains, --
From cloud and from crag,
With many a jag, 
Shepherding her bright fountains.
She leapt down the rocks,
With her rainbow locks
Streaming among the streams; --
Her steps paved with green
The downward ravine
Which slopes to the western gleams;
And gliding and springing
She went, ever singing,
In murmurs as soft as sleep; 
The Earth seemed to love her,
And Heaven smiled above her,
As she lingered towards the deep.

Then Alpheus bold,
On his glacier cold, 
With his trident the mountains strook;
And opened a chasm
In the rocks--with the spasm
All Erymanthus shook.
And the black south wind
It unsealed behind
The urns of the silent snow,
And earthquake and thunder
Did rend in sunder
The bars of the springs below.
And the beard and the hair
Of the River-god were
Seen through the torrent's sweep,
As he followed the light
Of the fleet nymph's flight
To the brink of the Dorian deep.

'Oh, save me! Oh, guide me!
And bid the deep hide me,
For he grasps me now by the hair!'
The loud Ocean heard, 
To its blue depth stirred,
And divided at her prayer;
And under the water
The Earth's white daughter
Fled like a sunny beam;
Behind her descended
Her billows, unblended
With the brackish Dorian stream: --
Like a gloomy stain
On the emerald main
Alpheus rushed behind, --
As an eagle pursuing
A dove to its ruin
Down the streams of the cloudy wind.

Under the bowers
Where the Ocean Powers
Sit on their pearled thrones;
Through the coral woods
Of the weltering floods,
Over heaps of unvalued stones; 
Through the dim beams
Which amid the streams
Weave a network of coloured light;
And under the caves,
Where the shadowy waves
Are as green as the forest's night: --
Outspeeding the shark,
And the sword-fish dark,
Under the Ocean's foam,
And up through the rifts 
Of the mountain clifts
They passed to their Dorian home.

And now from their fountains
In Enna's mountains,
Down one vale where the morning basks, 
Like friends once parted
Grown single-hearted,
They ply their watery tasks.
At sunrise they leap
From their cradles steep 
In the cave of the shelving hill;
At noontide they flow
Through the woods below
And the meadows of asphodel;
And at night they sleep 
In the rocking deep
Beneath the Ortygian shore; --
Like spirits that lie
In the azure sky
When they love but live no more. 

Authorship

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in Italian (Italiano), a translation by Roberto Ascoli ( flourished 1891-1930 ) , "Aretusa" ; composed by Ottorino Respighi.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2005-01-30 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:12
Line count: 90
Word count: 414

Aretusa
Language: Italian (Italiano)  after the English 
Sorge Aretusa, lieve,
dal suo letto di neve
nei tempestosi Acroceranni monti
dalla rapida balza
e dalla nube s'alza,
e al pascolo conduce le sue fonti.
Salta le roccie, e ai venti
sparge le iridescenti
chiome che ai rivi gettano fulgori
i passi ornan di verde
il pendio che si perde
dell'occidente ai tremuli bagliori.
E scorrendo e cantando
in un murmure blando
come il sonno ella fluttua gioconda.
E all'abisso si spinge
mentre d'amor la cinge
la terra e di sorriso il ciel la inonda.

Ed ecco dall'algente
ghiacciaio col tridente
scuote Alfeo le montagne 
e dall'estrema roccia un varco si schiude 
sotto l'impeto rude
spasima tutto l'Erimanto e trema.
Del mezzogiorno il tetro vento,
celato dietro l'urne di neve
candide e silenti
e il terremoto e il tuono
squarcian con cupo suono
gli argini nel profondo alle sorgenti.







"Oh! tu salvami! Guidami,
ed all'abisso grida d'occultarmi!
Ei la chioma già mi afferra!"
L'oceano dalle fonde
azzurrità risponde
fremendo dalla sua prece si disserra.
La candida figliola
della terra s'invola
sotto l'acqua al sol raggio lucente;
le onde sue discese
dietro i suoi passi illese
restano dalla dorica corrente.
Cupa macchia sul mare di smeraldo
ecco appare Alfeo
che quasi a vol dietro le piomba;
come aquila che investa,
persa nella tempesta
del vento nubiloso una colomba.

Sotto gli archi azzurrini,
dove i Numi marini
stanno in troni di perle; 
nelle ascose selvette, 
ove tra l'onde
il corallo profonde
i rami; sulle pietre radiose;
tra i rai cupolucenti,
che fan nelle correnti
reti di luce colorata in teste;
sotto le grotte, dove
la fosca onda si muove
verde come la notte alle foreste;
sotto la sonora
spuma del mar;
tra i cupi frastagli delle rupi;
giunsero alla lor dorica dimora.

Oggi, d'Enna tra i monti,
dalle native fonti
compion delle acque gli agili lavori
giù per la valle: amici,
disgiunti un dì, felici
ora che un solo cuore sono i due cuori.
Da lor culle, nel vivo
della roccia in declivio,
balzano appena l'alba imbianca il cielo;
errano a mezzogiorno
tra le selve d'intorno
tra le praterie dell'asfodelo.
E dormon nella notte
entro le cave grotte
sotto l'Ortigia, 
che discende giù:
spiriti che han riposo
nel cielo radioso;
amano ancora ma non vivon più.

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)


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2010-10-02 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:02
Line count: 84
Word count: 375