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Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) – Passa la nave mia colma d’oblio / My ship, full of oblivion

Théodore Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1819

My ship, full of oblivion, sails
on a bitter sea, at winter’s midnight,
between Scylla and Charybdis: at the helm
sits that Lord, or rather my enemy.

At each oar there’s a cruel eager thought,
that scorns the tempest and its end:
the sail’s torn by an eternal moist wind
of sighs, of hopes, and of desire.

A rain of tears, a mist of disdain
drench and slacken the already tired shrouds,
woven from error and ignorance.

My two usual guiding lights are so hidden:
reason and art so drowned by the waves,
that I begin to despair of finding harbour.

Passa la nave mia colma d’oblio
per aspro mare, a mezza notte, il verno,
enfra Scilla e Cariddi; ed al governo
siede ‘l signore, anzi ‘l nimico mio;

a ciascun remo un penser pronto e rio
che la tempesta e ‘l fin par ch’abbi a scherno;
la vela rompe un vento umido, eterno
di sospir, di speranze e di desio;

pioggia di lagrimar, nebbia di sdegni
bagna e rallenta le già stanche sarte,
che son d’error con ignoranza attorto.

Celansi i duo mei dolci usati segni;
morta fra l’onde è la ragion e l’arte:
tal ch’ incomincio a desperar del porto.