Giovanni Pascoli

(31 December 1855 - 6 April 1912 / San Mauro di Romagna)

Passage


The swan sings. From deep in the marshes,
its voice chimes sharp and clear
like the striking of copper cymbals.

This is the endless polar darkness.
Great mountains of eternal frost
lean against the ice plates of the ocean.

The swan sings; and slowly the sky
fades into the darkness and tints itself yellow.
A green light rises from star to star.

The swan’s metal voice rings like a harp
caressed here and there; already the green
northern lights glaze the icy mountain peaks.

And in the deepening night,
an immense iridescent arc grows
into huge ladders that spread open the aurora.

The green and vermillion glow catches fire,
shoots rays, pulsates, subsides, rises again,
exploding, all in utter silence.

With a sound like the bell’s final
angelus chime, the swan shakes its wings:
the wings open, and lift, enormous,
pure white, into the boreal night.

Submitted: Saturday, December 31, 2011

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