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To Phoebe, Sweetheart


Sweet Heart

By the streams, by the waterfalls,
In the fields of flowering olive trees,
On the rocks, under the arcades
Whose debris time undermines,
Under the walls of the old monastery.
In the wood that mystery loves,
Under the shade of the solitary pine,
Under the cool sheltered plane tree;

At the time when, under the humble cottage.
The goatherd takes his meal,
At the hour when the light shines,
At the hour when the day does not shine;
In summer, when under the green shade
You come to sit down after work:
In winter, in the cold, in the storm;
Always, everywhere, I follow your steps.

When the silvery bells
Wake the bird in its nest,
It is I who follow you at matins:
And when the prayer ends.
Coming out of the Gothic temple,
It is I who go under the portico
to offer You, following the ancient custom.
Holy water and the blessed branch.

When, towards the end of the day,
You go near the holy tribunal,
Before the prostrate hermit.
Bowing your virginal brow,
It is I who with a humble and tender air.
When the Angelus is heard,
hardworking Slave, go and wait
Near the confessional.

Come, I'll tell you the hymn
That I went this morning.
Choose for you in the shop
Of a Neapolitan peddler,
And against the murderous tooth
Of wandering wolves in the clearing,
I will teach you which prayer
To recite in .

I will put in your oratory
A missal with golden clasps,
Where monks have painted the history
Of our ancient sacred books;
Of the apostles the twelve images,
The good Virgin, and the three Magi
To Christ paying their homage,
And kissing his adored feet.

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Oh, look at me without anger!
Promise me you'll love me:
Don't forbid me to please you,
Let yourself be held in my arms!
Let this coldness abandon you;
A secret sin God forgives,
And I will put on your Madonna
The veil that you will leave.

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