Leopardi                          

 

He knew for all our falls from paradises

We have ever-further to fall;

How one life suffices and MORE than suffices

And never suffices at all.

A sickly and precocious melancholic,

His lyric heart encaged in crooked bones,

He learned the laughing little darlings on a frolic

Were mothers of the grim and toothless crones.

He saw the mourning should begin at matin,

The shattered ruins among the tiller's clods,

The dust he swept from Hebrew, Greek and Latin,

To the last retreating echoes of the gods.

This Masque was briefly his for the unmasking

And the bitter balm of knowing—

He rained on the parade by asking

Where the parade is going.