[Milton-L] The TeaM: To a rose

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Wed Mar 16 02:33:03 EDT 2011

Ma solamente allor ne’ primi tempi
Senza que’ suoi pungenti ispidi dumi
Spiegò le foglie la purpurea rosa.
A la bellezza poi del vago fiore
Aggiunta fu la dura acuta spina,
Perché al nostro piacer sia appresso il duolo
E ci rammenti il peccar nostro antico,
Per cui fu condannata (e ben convenne)
A partorir la terra ortiche e spine.

_____Torquato Tasso, Il Mondo Creato 3.1165-1173

But only then, in the beginning,
Without those stinging bristling prickles
The purple rose did spread its leaves.
To the beauty of the graceful flower
The hard, sharp thorn was added then,
So as to mix sorrow to our pleasure
And remind us of our ancient sin,
’Cause of which the earth (and ’twas right)
Was condemned to yield nettles and thorns.

In Il Mondo Creato the effects of the original sin on Nature are less
majestic than in Paradise Lost. The harmony between Man and animals,
as well as plants, is broken, but no planetary upsetting occurs in MC.
The worsened condition of the rose is substantially commonplace in
poetry. But these verses stand out because of their beauty, their
perfectly idyllic Italian sound, that was a “trademark” of Tasso in
his other poems and long poems.

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