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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Song of the Nine Singers
By Giordano Bruno (1548–1600)
 
Translation of Isa Blagden

[The first sings and plays the cithern.]
        O CLIFFS and rocks! O thorny woods! O shore!
          O hills and dales! O valleys, rivers, seas!
          How do your new-discovered beauties please?
            O Nymph, ’tis yours the guerdon rare,
            If now the open skies shine fair;        5
        O happy wanderings, well spent and o’er!
 
[The second sings and plays to his mandolin.]
        O happy wanderings, well spent and o’er!
          Say then, O Circe, these heroic tears,
    These griefs, endured through tedious months and years,
            Were as a grace divine bestowed        10
        If now our weary travail is no more.
 
[The third sings and plays to his lyre.]
        If now our weary travail is no more!
          If this sweet haven be our destined rest,
          Then naught remains but to be blest,
            To thank our God for all his gifts,        15
            Who from our eyes the veil uplifts,
        Where shines the light upon the heavenly shore.
 
[The fourth sings to the viol.]
        Where shines the light upon the heavenly shore!
          O blindness, dearer far than others’ sight!
          O sweeter grief than earth’s most sweet delight!        20
            For ye have led the erring soul
            By gradual steps to this fair goal,
        And through the darkness into light we soar.
 
[The fifth sings to a Spanish timbrel.]
        And through the darkness into light we soar!
          To full fruition all high thought is brought,        25
            With such brave patience that ev’n we
            At least the only path can see,
        And in his noblest work our God adore.
 
[The sixth sings to a lute.]
        And in his noblest work our God adore!
          God doth not will joy should to joy succeed,        30
          Nor ill shall be of other ill the seed;
            But in his hand the wheel of fate
            Turns, now depressed and now elate,
        Evolving day from night for evermore.
 
[The seventh sings to the Irish harp.]
        Evolving day from night for evermore!
        35
          And as yon robe of glorious nightly fire
          Pales when the morning beams to noon aspire,
            Thus He who rules with law eternal,
            Creating order fair diurnal,
        Casts down the proud and doth exalt the poor.        40
 
[The eighth plays with a viol and bow.]
        Casts down the proud and doth exalt the poor!
            And with an equal hand maintains
            The boundless worlds which He sustains,
            And scatters all our finite sense
            At thought of His omnipotence,        45
        Clouded awhile, to be revealed once more.
 
[The ninth plays upon the rebeck.]
        Clouded awhile, to be revealed once more!
            Thus neither doubt nor fear avails;
            O’er all the incomparable End prevails,
            O’er fair champaign and mountain,        50
            O’er river-brink and fountain,
  And o’er the shocks of seas and perils of the shore.
 
 
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