from the Italian of Giovanni Della Casa
O sleep, o of the quiet, humid, shady
night the placid son; o of sickly humans
comfort, sweet oblivion of the inhuman
evils that make life bitter and staid;
succor the heart that now languishes and rest
has not, and these limbs tired and frail
uplift: fly to me o sleep, and your pale
wings spread over me and rest.
Where’s the silence that flees the day and light thereof?
And the soft dreams that follow you
with doubtful vestiges whatever the weather?
Drained, for in vain I call you, and these obscure
and icy shadows vainly flatter. O feathers
bitter to the brim! O nights raw and fewer!