This is a beautiful poem by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) called “To the Moon.” Leopardi is considered by many to be the greatest modern Italian poet, though he has not often been translated into English, partly because of the difficulty in expressing his language in English. So please forgive my work! :P


My Translation

To The Moon

Oh lovely moon, as I remember

A year that’s turned, I come to gaze

Upon this hill, full of anguish:

And you’ve hung above the forest

Since then, as now, illuminating all.

But clouded by trembling and tears

Rising on my lashes, by my lights

Your face appeared, though suffering

Was my life: and is my life, never changing,

Oh dear moon. And yet I gain

From the memories, while time grows the range

Of my pain.  Oh how grateful I am

Of that youthful time, when hope is still

Long and memory’s course is brief,

Of the remembrance of things past,

Even the sad, and the hard distress!

Original Italian

Alla Luna             

O graziosa luna, io mi rammento

Che, or volge l'anno, sovra questo colle

Io venia pien d'angoscia a rimirarti:

E tu pendevi allor su quella selva

Siccome or fai, che tutta la rischiari.

Ma nebuloso e tremulo dal pianto

Che mi sorgea sul ciglio, alle mie luci

Il tuo volto apparia, che travagliosa

Era mia vita: ed è, nè cangia stile,

O mia diletta luna. E pur mi giova

La ricordanza, e il noverar l'etate

Del mio dolore. Oh come grato occorre

Nel tempo giovanil, quando ancor lungo

La speme e breve ha la memoria il corso,

Il rimembrar delle passate cose,

Ancor che triste, e che l'affanno duri!