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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Nobody knows the troubles I've seen (1)

[5: 70]

A quel parlar chinò la donna e fisse
Le luci a terra, e stette immota alquanto:
Poi sollevolle rugiadose, e disse,
Accompagnando atti gentili al pianto:
- Misera! et a qual altra il ciel prescrisse
Vita mai grave, et immutabil tanto
Che si cangia in altrui mente e natura
Pria che si cangi in me sorte e ventura?

After listening to these words, she lowered her eyes(*) and kept them fixed to the ground, staying perfectly still for a while. She then raised her now dewy eyes and, adding discreet gestures to her tears, she said, "Poor me! To which other woman did Heaven ever predetermine such a heavy existence, and so immutable that the very mind and nature of anybody else can change faster than my destiny and luck?"


(*) Eyes are here literally called "lights" because sight was described as a stream of rays moving from the organ to the objects; that may look naive but, more in depth, see Heisenberg's principle. As to literary sources, cf. Dante, Inferno 5: 110-112.