Two Poems of Gabriele D’Annunzio

Translated from the Italian by
Michael Shindler (April 2019)


Gabriele D’Annunzio


In Van Preghi


In vain you beg, in vain you ache,

Perhaps in heaven the rainclouds quake

because we both have cried?


This pain of ours is without a wing.

The fainthearted cry can never fly.

Weep and pray! What god is coming

by the path of the stars up high?


Abandon yourself to the dust

and upon it fall in surrender.

Our great mother is ever so just

to every sinner who kisses her.


Within a Hell of godless emptiness

All is a dream, all is nothingness:

the flower of the world is the asphodel.



In van preghi, in vano aneli,

in van mostri il cuore infranto.

Sono forse umidi i cieli

perché noi abbiamo pianto?


Non ha volo il grido imbelle.

Piangi e prega! Qual dio cala

pel cammino delle stelle?


Abbandónati alla polve

e su lei prono ti giaci.

La supina madre assolve

In un Ade senza dio

dormi quanto puoi profondo.

Tutto è sogno, tutto è oblìo:


The dawn divides all light from shadow,

and all my sensuousness from desiring.

A higher love from heaven lets you go.


Burning eyes, O you—fated to fade away.

for I do so love my dream and the night.


Hold me, O Night, with motherly affection,

While the wan earth wakes with a misty yawn.

By my blood will be born the dawn

and from my fleeting dream—the undying sun!


e la  mia voluttà dal mio desire.

Un più divino amor dal ciel vi sgombra.


Pupille ardenti, O voi senza ritorno.

Stelle tristi, spegnetevi incorrotte!

Morir debbo. Veder non voglio il giorno,

per amor del mio sogno e della notte.


Chiudimi, O Notte, nel tuo sen materno,

e dal sogno mio breve il sole eterno!



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Michael Shindler is a writer living in Washington, DC. His work has appeared in publications including The American ConservativeThe American SpectatorNational Review OnlineHillRag, and Providence Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelShindler.

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