Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FRAGMENT, by GIACOMO LEOPARDI



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FRAGMENT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Many a night I muse upon this shore
Last Line: Pity or scorn, I know not which prevails.


MANY a night I muse upon this shore:
And high above the varied plain I see
In the pure blue of heaven the flickering stars,
Glassed by the sea, and in the vault serene
They shine out scintillant around the world.
Steadfast I gaze upon those lights of heaven,
Which to mine eyes appear but points of flame,
And yet, in truth, are such stupendous worlds,
That unto them this earth is but a point.
Yea, unto them, not only man himself,
But all this great globe, whereon man is naught,
Is utterly unknown. And when I see
Clusters of stars, which unto us are film,
To which not only man, and this huge world,
But all these infinite orbs and golden suns
Are quite unknown, or else appear to them,
As they to us, a track of nebulous light,
Ah! then what seemest thou unto mine eyes,
O race of man? And when I call to mind
Thy state on earth, and then remember me
That thou dost deem thyself the lord of all,
And how thou dost presume to fable here
(On this dark grain of sand we call the earth)
Of the Creator of the universe;
When I recall the dreams that even now
Insult the wise, -- what feelings and what thoughts
Rise in my heart, unhappy race of man!
Pity or scorn, I know not which prevails.





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