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Torquato Tasso – Rhyme 289

Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson, Butterflies, 1891

Already you flew four times and you are
In that so tender breast,
A lovely butterfly, now you are dead by the lamp.
I do not desire light, nor am I so foolish;
But I would want death
Where fate did not want to give it to you.
O sweet closing of eyes,
If it will come to pass that I expire within it.

(Transl. by E. Ricciardi and A. McCue Gill)

Già tu volasti quattro volte e sei
In quel petto sì molle,
Vaga farfalla, or morta al lume sei.
Non bramo io luce, né son tanto folle;
Ma la morte vorrei
Dove fortuna darla a te non volle.
Oh dolce chiuder gli occhi,
S’avverrà che spirare in lui mi tocchi!