Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Romeo and Juliet

Another head-scratcher today: how did I think of linking Anywhere from last post -- oh well, two posts ago, because last post was inserted into the plan way later :) -- to today's balcony speech et al. from Romeo and Juliet? Was there even a link, or did I just want to get rid of the last poems that didn't have a place? I mean, when I made the original post plan back on June 6ish 2017, I had three lists to pick from: Chinese songs, Japanese songs, and poems. At one point, I was out of links between poems and songs, so I decided to cut the number of lists by one by finishing off the poems without many links. But was there no link between the songs and the last set of poems? No, I think I may have taken the «little ray of light», which is the smile of the loved one in Anywhere, and linked it to «Juliet is the sun». Yeah, that sounds about right. Anyways, now I've spoilered it: this starts a series of poem posts without great links between each other that aims to finish the posts about translations of poems that are to appear on this blog, until further news pop up. The series opens with a few excerpts of Romeo and Juliet, most notably the speech of Romeo at Juliet's balcony, which I translated to Italian hendecasyllabics (with rhymes sometimes) in June 2009. Let's see!

Balcony speech

He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off!
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks. Yet she says nothing. What of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold. ’Tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.

See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
         – Ay me!
             - She speaks:
O, speak again, bright angel! For thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head
As is a wingèd messenger of heaven
Unto the white-upturnèd wondering eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy, puffing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.
Act II, Scene II, ll. 1-32

What's in a name?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Act II, Scene II, ll. 44-47

Vice and virtue

For naught so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give,
Nor aught so good but, strained from that fair use,
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
Act II, Scene III, ll. 17-22

Two such opposèd kings

Two such opposed kings encamp them still
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.
Act II, Scene III, ll. 27-30

Ending couplet

For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
Discorso del balcone

Delle ferite ride chi mai n’ebbe.

Ma oh! Che splende da quella finestra?
È l’Orïente, e Giulïetta il sol.
Sorgi, bel sol, e uccidi l’invidiosa
Luna, che, pallida e malata, duolsi
Che tu, sua serva, molto sei più bella.
Ché lei t’invidia, non servirla più.
La verginal sua veste è scialba e verde
E sol lo stolto tienla; gettala!
È la mia donna, Oh, è il mio amor!
Sapesse lei che l’è!
Parla. E non dice nulla. Come può?
Discorsi fa il suo occhio; or gli rispondo.
Son troppo audace. Ei non parla a me:
Due delle stelle più belle del cielo,
Altrove affari avendo, i suoi occhi
Di sostituirle pregan finché tornin.
E se occhi e capo suoi fosser lassú?
Come il sol a una lampada, sua guancia
Brillando onta darebbe a quelle stelle;
E gl’occhi suoi sí forti brillerebber
Per l’aria, ch’ogn’uccello canterebbe,
E penserebbe che non fosse notte.
Ve’ come sulla man la guancia posa!
O, fossi io su quella mano un guanto,
Toccassi quella guancia!
         – Ahimè!
             - Lei parla:
O, parla ancora, angel! Ché tu brilli
Sopra mia testa questa notte come
Celeste messaggero alato, quando
Cavalca su sbuffanti e pigre nuvole
E naviga nell’aria, per quegl’occhi
Bianchi e meravigliati dei mortali
Ch’indietro cadon per guardar lui solo.
Atto II, Scena II, vv. 1-33

Che c'è in un nome?

Che c’è in un nome? Ciò che nomiam rosa
Con altro nome il suo dolce profumo
Terrebbe. Sí Romeo, con altro nome,
La cara perfezione sua terrebbe.
Atto II, Scena II, vv. 44-47

Vizio e virtù

Ché nulla vive in terra, sia pur vile,
Senza alla terra dare un ben speciale,
E nulla, buono, fuor dal giusto uso,
Dirazza, quando inciampa nell’abuso:
La virtù stessa, mal usata, è vizio;
E al vizio a volte onore fa l’azione.
Atto II, Scena III, vv. 17-22

Due opposti re

Due opposti re troviamo ancor in uomo
Ed erbe: grazia e bruta volontà;
E dove il peggior predomina,
La pianta presto il baco roderà.
Atto II, Scena III, vv. 27-30

Distico finale

Ché mai fu storia di maggior dolor
Di questa di Giulietta e del suo amor.

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