Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2007/3/12 - 01:17
I was but fifteen when I left my friends
For distant climes to fight our Country's foe,
And now I'm eighty -- back for the first time
To see the home I left so long ago.
Where is the house? I should be near it now,
Yet posssibly I may have gone astray;
Long years abroad have blurred the youthful brain,
I'll ask this countryman to point the way.
'The house is yonder -- midst those grassy mounds,
Beneath the shade of fir and cypress trees,
And there lie buried all the kith and kin
Of former tillers of these fallow leas.'
The veteran sighed and wandered to the house,
And found it overgrown and desolate;
A startled hare fled through the kennel's hole,
And pheasants flew from ceiling beams ornate.
Exhausted by the journey and his grief,
The old man plucked some grain from patches wild,
And mallows from around the courtyard well,
As in the days when but a little child.
But when the homely fare was cooked and spread,
And not a friend to cheer the lonely place,
He rose, and going out to eastward gazed,
While tears flowed down his worn and furrowed face.
Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2007/3/12 - 01:27
At fifteen I went with the army,
At fourscore I came home.
On the way I met a man from the village,
I asked him who there was at home.
"That over there is your house,
All covered over with trees and bushes."
Rabbits had run in at the dog-hole,
Pheasants flew down from the beams of the roof.
In the courtyard was growing some wild grain;
And by the well, some wild mallows.
I'll boil the grain and make soup.
Soup and porridge are both cooked,
But there is no one to eat them with.
I went out and looked towards the east,
While tears fell and wetted my clothes.
Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2007/3/12 - 01:30
At fifteen I joined the army.
At twenty-five I came home at last.
As I entered the village
I met an old man and asked him,
"Who lives in our house now?"
"Look down the street,
There is your old home."
Pines and cypresses grow like weeds.
Rabbits live in the dog's house.
Pigeons nest in the broken tiles.
Wild grass covers the courtyard.
Rambling vines cover the well.
I gather wild millet and make a pudding
And pick some mallows for soup.
When soup and pudding are done,
There is no one to share them.
I stand by the broken gate,
And wipe the tears from my eyes.
Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2007/3/12 - 01:32
1. At fifteen I went to war
2. At eighty now I made it home
3. Meeting one from my village:
4. "Who now is at home?"
5. "Over there is your house."
6. Pines, cypresses, tombs in clusters
7. Rabbits come in from dog-holes.
8. Pheasants fly upon the beams.
9. Middle of court: wild grains rise.
10. Well's edge: wild mallows grow.
11. Grind grains to make rice.
12. Pick mallows to make soup.
13. Rice and soup soon ready.
14. But for whom?
15. Go to the east gate to look out:
16. Tears drench my clothes
Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2007/3/12 - 01:33
A quindici anni entrai nell'armata.
A venticinque, infine, tornai a casa.
Quando entrai nel villaggio
incontrai un vecchio e gli chiesi:
"Chi vive ora nella nostra casa?"
"Guarda giù per la strada,
là c'è la tua vecchia casa."
Pini e cipressi crescono come malerba.
Ci sono conigli nella cuccia del cane.
I piccioni fanno il nido tra le tegole rotte.
Il cortile è ricoperto d'erbacce.
Tralci di vite selvatica coprono il pozzo.
Raccolgo del miglio e mi faccio una sbobba
e raccolgo un po' di malva per farmi la zuppa.
Quando la zuppa e la sbobba sono pronte
Non c'è nessuno con cui dividerle.
Me ne sto all'ingresso diroccato
e mi asciugo le lacrime agli occhi.
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