|Donne e conoscenza storica|
torna alla Biografia
I testi poetici:
CASA GUIDI WINDOWS
CASA GUIDI WINDOWS
di Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I heard last night a little child go singing
Neath Casa Guidi Windows, by the church,
"O bella libertà, O bella!" stringing
The same words still on notes he went in search
So high for, you concluded the upspringing
Of such a nimble bird to sky from perch
Must leave the whole bush in a tremble green;
And that the heart of Italy must beat,
While such a voice had leave to rise serene
Twixt church and palace of a Florence street! -
A little child, too, who not long had been
By mothers finger steadied on his feet;
"O bella libertà" he sang.
Might a shamed sister, - "Had she been less fair
She were less wretched," - how, evoking so
On chin and forehead from a dream to deep, -
Through all that drowsy hum of voices smooth,
The hopeful bird mounts carolling from brake;
The hopeful child withy leaps to catch his growth,
Sings open-eyed for libertys sweet sake;
And I, who am a singer too, forsooth,
Prefer to sing with these who are awake,
With birds, with babes, with men who will not fear
And hope of life. "Whats Italy?" men ask;
And other answers, "Virgil, Cicero, Catullus, Caesar." And what more? To task
The memory closer - "Why, Boccaccio,
Dante, Petrarca," - and if still the flask
We do not serve the dead - the past is past!
God lives, and lifts is glorious mornings up
Before the eyes of men, who wake at last,
To help the heavens and earth to make me strong,
As the wind ever will find out some reed,
And touch it to such issues as belong to such a frail thing? Who denies the death,
Libation for full cups? Unless we choose to look back to the hills behind his spread,
The plains before us sadden and confuse;
If orphaned, we
The day was such a day as Florence owes the sun. The sky above,
Its weight upon the mountains seemed to lay,
And palpitate in glory, like a dove who has flown too fast, full-hearted.
Take away The image! For the heart of man beat higher
That day in Florence, flooding all her streets and piazzas with a tumult and desire.
The people, with accumulated heats, and faces tourned one way, as if one fire
Did draw and flush them , leaving their old beats,
upward to the palace Pitti wall, to thank their Grand-duke, who, not quite of course,
Had Graciously permitted, at their call,
The citizens to use their civic force to guardtheir civic homes.
So, one and all,
the Tuscan cities streamed up to the source
Meanwhile, in this same Italy we want
Not popular passion, to arise and crush,
But popular conscience, wich may covenant
For what it knows. Concede without a blush -
To grant the "civic guard" is not to grant
The civic spirit,
living and awake.
The only light; from eucharistic bowls
Will pour new life for nations that expire,
And rend the scarlet of his Papal vest
To gird the weak loins of his country-men
- I hold that man surpasses all the rest
Of Romans, heroes, patriots, - and that when
He sat down on the throne he dispossessed
The first graves of some glory. See again,
This country-saving is a glorious thing!
Why, say a common man achieved it? Well!
Say, a rich man did? Excellent! A king?
That grows sublime! A priest? Improbable!
A Pope? Ah, there we stop and cannot bring
Our faith up to the leap, with historys bell
So heavy round the neck of it albeit
We fain would grant
the possibility for thy sake, Pio Nono!
such a proved possible thy throne to me
Shall seem as holy a place as Pellicos
Venetian dungeon; or as Spielbergs grate,
Where the fair Lombard woman hung the rose
Of her sweet soul, by its own dewy weight,
(Because her sun
shone inside to the close!)
As princes may be; and, as priests are, true
- But only the ninth Pius after eight,
when alls praised most. At best and hopefullest,
we want a man!
Come, appear, be found,
If pope or peasant, come! We hear the cock,
The courtier of the mountains when first crowned
With golden dawn; and orient gloriuos flock
To meet the sun upon the highest ground.
Take voice and walk!
We wait to hear thee knock
Help, lands of Europe! For, it Austria fight,
The drums will bar your slumber. Who had curled
The laurel for your thousand artists browse,
If these Italian hands and planted none?
And who can sit down idle, in the house,
Nor hear appeals
from Bounarrotis stone
And Vallombrosa, we two went to see
Last June, beloved companion, - where sublime
The mountains live in holy families,
And the slow pinewoods, ever climb and climb
Remembering Vallombrosa. Therefore is
The place divine to English man and child
We all love Italy.