Calm After Storm
The storm hath passed;
by Count Giacomo Leopardi
I hear the birds rejoice; the hen,
Returned into the road again,
Her cheerful notes repeats. The sky serene
Is, in the west, upon the mountain seen:
The country smiles; bright runs the silver stream.
Each heart is cheered; on every side revive
The sounds, the labors of the busy hive.
The workman gazes at the watery sky,
As standing at the door he sings,
His work in hand; the little wife goes forth,
And in her pail the gathered rain-drops brings;
The vendor of his wares, from lane to lane,
Begins his daily cry again.
The sun returns, and with his smile illumes
The villas on the neighboring hills;
Through open terraces and balconies,
The genial light pervades the cheerful rooms;
And, on the highway, from afar are heard
The tinkling of the bells, the creaking wheels
Of waggoner, his journey who resumes.
Cheered is each heart.
Whene'er, as now, doth life appear
A thing so pleasant and so dear?
When, with such love,
Does man unto his books or work return?
Or on himself new tasks impose?
When is he less regardful of his woes?
O pleasure, born of pain!
O idle joy, and vain,
Fruit of the fear just passed, which shook
The wretch who life abhorred, yet dreaded death!
With which each neighbor held his breath,
Silent, and cold, and wan,
Affrighted sore to see
The lightnings, clouds, and winds arrayed,
To do us injury!
O Nature courteous!
These are thy boons to us,
These the delights to mortals given!
Escape from pain, best gift of heaven!
Thou scatterest sorrows with a bounteous hand;
Grief springs spontaneous;
If, by some monstrous growth, miraculous,
Pleasure at times is born of pain,
It is a precious gain!
O human race, unto the gods so dear!
Too happy, in a respite brief
From any grief!
Then only blessed,
When Death releases thee unto thy rest!