Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Oh how sweetly, when we are young, it hurts..."

To the Moon
by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837)

O lovely moon, now I’m reminded
how almost a year since, full of anguish,
I climbed this hill to gaze at you again,
and you hung there, over that wood, as now,
clarifying all things. Filled with mistiness,
trembling, that’s how your face seemed to me,
from all those tears that welled in my eyes, so
troubled was my life, and is, and does not change,
O moon, my delight. And yet it does help me,
to record my grief and tell it, year by year.
Oh how sweetly, when we are young, it hurts,
when hope has such a long journey to run,
and memory is so short,
this remembrance of things past, even if it
is sad, and the pain lasts!

Translated by A.S. Kline

Sleeping Nude in Front of the Mirror, Franz Nölken, 1915

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