This minute that comes to me over the past decillions, There is no better than it and now. My ties and ballasts leave me, my elbows rest in sea-gaps, I skirt sierras, my palms cover continents, I am afoot with my vision. I take part, I see and hear the whole, The cries, curses, roar, the plaudits for well-aim'd shots, The ambulanza slowly passing trailing its red drip, Workmen searching after damages, making indispensable repairs, The fall of grenades through the rent roof, the fan-shaped explosion, The whizz of limbs, heads, stone, wood, iron, high in the air. This hour I tell things in confidence, I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you. A gigantic beauty of a stallion, fresh and responsive to my caresses, Head high in the forehead, wide between the ears, Limbs glossy and supple, tail dusting the ground, Eyes full of sparkling wickedness, ears finely cut, flexibly moving. We closed with him, the yards entangled, the cannon touch'd, My captain lash'd fast with his own hands. The earth by the sky staid with, the daily close of their junction, The heav'd challenge from the east that moment over my head, The mocking taunt, See then whether you shall be master! I believe in the flesh and the appetites, Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle. Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch'd from, The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer, This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.
Hurrah for positive science! Now I laugh content, for I hear the voice of my little captain, We have not struck, he composedly cries, we have just begun our part of the fighting. What blurt is this about virtue and about vice? Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen, Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn. I ascend to the foretruck, I take my place late at night in the crow's-nest, We sail the arctic sea, it is plenty light enough, Through the clear atmosphere I stretch around on the wonderful beauty, The enormous masses of ice pass me and I pass them, the scenery is plain in all directions, The white-topt mountains show in the distance, I fling out my fancies toward them, We are approaching some great battle-field in which we are soon to be engaged, We pass the colossal outposts of the encampment, we pass with still feet and caution, Or we are entering by the suburbs some vast and ruin'd city, The blocks and fallen architecture more than all the living cities of the globe. Have you outstript the rest? Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash'd babe, and am not contain'd between my hat and boots, And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good, The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good. I resist any thing better than my own diversity, Breathe the air but leave plenty after me, And am not stuck up, and am in my place. Agonies are one of my changes of garments, I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person, My hurts turn livid upon me as I lean on a cane and observe. The earth by the sky staid with, the daily close of their junction, The heav'd challenge from the east that moment over my head, The mocking taunt, See then whether you shall be master! Only three guns are in use, One is directed by the captain himself against the enemy's main-mast, Two well serv'd with grape and canister silence his musketry and clear his decks. I hear the chorus, it is a grand opera, Ah this indeed is music--this suits me.
Breast that presses against other breasts it shall be you! Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord, A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt, Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose? Mine is no callous shell, I have instant conductors all over me whether I pass or stop, They seize every object and lead it harmlessly through me. Would you learn who won by the light of the moon and stars?
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Sviluppato Antonio Baritono