Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse
  PREVIOUSNEXT  

CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · QUICK INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHIES
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · PORTRAITS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
To the Duke of Ferrara
By Torquato Tasso (1544–1595)
 
Imploring Liberation from his Dreadful Prison

O magnanimo figlio

Translation of Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen

O GLORIOUS prince, magnanimous increase
  Of great Alcides, whose paternal worth
Thou dost transcend! to thee who in sweet peace
      From troublous exile to thy royal hearth
Received’st me erst,—again, yet once again,        5
  I turn, and faint from my deep cell, my knee,
  Heart, soul, and weeping eyes incline; to thee
My lips, long silent, I unclose in pain,
And unto thee, but not of thee, complain.
 
Turn thy mild eyes, and see where a vile crowd        10
  Throng,—where the pauper pines, the sick man moans;
See where, with death on his shrunk cheeks, aloud
      Thy once-loved servant groans;
Where, by a thousand sorrows wrung, his eyes
  Grown dim and hollow, his weak limbs devoid        15
  Of vital humor, wasting, and annoyed
By dirt and darkness, he ignobly lies,
Envying the sordid lot of those to whom
The pity comes which cheers their painful doom.
 
Pity is spent, and courtesy to me        20
  Grown a dead sound, if in thy noble breast
They spring not: what illimitable sea
  Of evil rushes on my soul distrest!
What joy for Tasso now remains? Alas!
  The stars in heaven, the nobles of the earth        25
Are sworn against my peace; and all that pass
  War with the strains to which my harp gives birth:
Whilst I to all the angry host make plea
In vain for mercy,—most of all to thee!
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.