The Book

The Flea

Marke but this flea, and marke in this,
How little that which thou deny’st me is;
Mee it suck’d first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea, our two bloods mingled bee;
Confesse it, this cannot be said
A sinne, or shame, or losse of maidenhead,
Yet this enjoyes before it wooe,
And pamper’d swells with one blood made of two,
And this, alas, is more then wee would doe.


Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where wee almost, nay more then maryed are:
This flea is you and I, and this
Our mariage bed, and mariage temple is;
Though parents grudge, and you, w’are met,
And cloysterd in these living walls of Jet.
Though use make thee apt to kill mee,
Let not to this, selfe murder added bee,
And sacrilege, three sinnes in killing three.


Cruell and sodaine, hast thou since
Purpled thy naile, in blood of innocence?
In what could this flea guilty bee,
Except in what drop which it suckt from thee?
Yet thou triumph’st, and saist that thou
Find’st not thy selfe, nor mee the weaker now;
’Tis true, then learne how false, feares bee;
Just so much honor, when thou yeeld’st to mee,
Will wast, as this flea’s death tooke life from thee.


by  Gabbrielli Fiornando

La poesia  pp. 77 Dim.: 423 kb. downloads: 667
The good reception obtained by the translations of Donne's poems included in the volume on Elizabethan authors has encouraged me to continue my work not that there don't already exist excellent Italian translations (for example those by Giorgio Melchiori and Roberto Sanesi); but any selection, however representative of an author, gives but a partial view of his work and in the case of a spirit like Donne's, eternally suspended between medievalism and modernity, ascesis and libertinism, elaborate stylishness and montaigne-like simplicity, there lays always in wait some surprise, some readjustment of our evaluation of a figure that is so important not only for the comprehension of the cultural life of his time, but especially for the influence that even today he still exercises on our sensibility (I need only quote Brodskij and Valduga), more than a century after his being rediscovered.
Considering the bulk of the work, we have decided, with the site's editors, to divide it in six volumes, and to publish the four volumes that were ready, hoping to be able to offer the Italian public within a short time the complete translation of Donne's poetical works. 

Fiornando Gabbrielli

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