An Unwept Burial


Sonnet IX, “A Zacinto”
By Ugo Foscolo (1778-1827)

Né più mai toccherò le sacre sponde

ove il mio corpo fanciulletto giacque,
Zacinto mia, che te specchi nell’onde
del greco mar da cui vergine nacque

Venere, e fea quelle isole feconde
col suo primo sorriso, onde non tacque
le tue limpide nubi e le tue fronde
l’inclito verso di colui che l’acque

cantò fatali, ed il diverso esiglio
per cui bello di fama e di sventura
baciò la sua petrosa Itaca Ulisse.

Tu non altro che il canto avrai del figlio,
o materna mia terra; a noi prescrisse
il fato illacrimata sepoltura.


To Zacynthus

Nor shall I ever touch again the sacred shores

where my body lay in childhood
My Zacynthus, who look into the waves
of the Greek sea, where Venus was born

making those islands bloom
with her first smile; so that
the limpid clouds and leafy fronds will not be passed over
by the glorious verse of him who sang

of fatal seas, and the diverse exiles
who, great in fame and sorrow
kissed his own rocky Ithaca – Ulysses.

You will have nothing of your son but his song,
motherland of mine: our fate already
written, an unwept burial.

Photos: © Eclipse 2011 – during a summer walk through the lovely gates of Zakynthos, Greece

Shared on The Daily Post – Photo Challenge: Monument

~ by Eclipse on April 11, 2014.

6 Responses to “An Unwept Burial”

  1. Cemeteries are places that are (naturally) laden with emotion; therefore they are special places to me. Thank you for sharing and translating this woeful and poignant sonnet (I wish I could understand the Italian version). The bilingualism reminds me of cemeteries on Cres and Lošinj.

  2. I do remember how nice the weather was there in Zakynthos when you took that Picture luv…..:)
    A Little work on that translation…non? ;)…turned out nice though…

  3. And I say, I will not have it … wept enough in this life time … determant to feel joy again … going skiing one last time at Sunshine, Kananaskis, Canada … smiles … fighting a mountain is like fighting life … and coming back to life … +4C here … spring is coming … smiles … … ya … Love, always, cat.

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