(English translation of 'La Bufera' by Eugenio Montale)
Les princes n'ont point d'yeux pur voir ces grand's merveilles,
Leurs mains ne servent plus qu'à nous persécuter...
Agrippa D'Aubigné, À Dieu
The storm that drops onto hard
magnolia leaves, the long thunder
of March, the hailstorm,
(crystalline sounds surprise you
in your night-time lair, the gold
faded from mahogany,
from leather-bound books, even
a grain of sugar burns inside
the shell of your eyelids)
the lightning flash that crystallizes
trees and walls and surprises them
in that eternal instant -- marble manna
and destruction -- you carry it carved
inside you as your condemnation, binding you
to me closer than love, strange sister, --
and then the harsh crash, the rattling sistra, the tremble
of tambourines above the pit of thieves,
the fandango’s pitter-patter, and on top
a few flailing gestures…
you turned and, brushing
waved to me -- and went into the dark.
a cloud of hair from your brow,
Note: The quotation from the French poet Agrippa D'Aubigné at the beginning of the poem can be translated as follows:
Princes have no eyes to see these great wonders,
Their hands only serve to persecute us...
For more translations of poems by Eugenio Montale, go to Translations.