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Luis de Góngora – Alla memoria della morte e dell’inferno / To the Memory of Death and Hell

Eugene Delacroix, The Barque of Dante, 1822

Plebeian urns and royal tombs: go in
and do not fear to go, O memory, 
where the destroyer of the days has been
with constant step stepping inconstantly.
Rummage through all the traces that remain
– cold ash and fleshless bones – of the deceased,
in spite of all the balms, if pious, vain,
expensively transported from the East.
Then to the depths of the abyss descend, 
where souls blaspheme in that strong gaol confined,
and iron clangs and tears flow without end,
if you should have, O memory, a mind
to call on death to free you from death’s spell
and to use hell to triumph over hell.

Urne plebee, tumuli regali,
memoria, penetra senza timore,
dove il carnefice dei giorni ha mosso
con piede uguale passi diseguali.
Rivolvi tanti segni di mortali,
scheletri nudi e raggelate ceneri,
malgrado le pietose, benché vane,
cure di rari balsami orientali.
Scendi dall’abisso poi, entro i cui seni
bestemmiando anime, e in carcere forte
ferri s’ odono sempre, e pianto eterno,
o memoria, se tu vorrai almeno
con morte liberarti della morte
e vincere l’inferno con l’inferno.