Il ritorno di Giuseppe (English translation)

  • Artist: Fabrizio De André
  • Song: Il ritorno di Giuseppe 4 translations
  • Translations: English, French, Polish, Spanish

Joseph’s Return

Since sunset, stars galore
are contending for the sky;
lights that are meticulous
in teaching you the night.
An evenly-paced donkey,
companion in your return,
beats the distance
as the day is dying.
 
In your eyes, the desert,
a stretch of sawdust,
minuscule fragments
of the toil of nature.
The men of the sand
have killers’ profiles,
locked inside the silence
of a borderless prison.
 
Smell of Jerusalem,
your hand strokes the shape
of a thin doll
carved in wood.
‟You’ll dress it, Mary,
you’ll go back to those games
you left when you were
just a few years old.”
 
And she flew in your arms
like a swallow,
and her fingers, like teardrops,
from your eyelashes to your throat,
they prompted on your face
which used to be unknown
the tenderness of a smile,
of an affection almost begged for.
 
And the astonishment in your eyes
rose from your hands
which, empty around her shoulders,
around her hips filled
with the clear shape
of a recent life,
of that secret that unveils
when the womb rises.
 
And to you, who were looking for the reason
of a deceit unexpressed by her face,
she proposed the anxious memory
among what was left of a huddled up dream.
 
  • 1. Joseph married the young Mary and left immediately afterwards.
    He is now returning to Jerusalem after four years, guided by the stars, and he’s bringing a wooden doll as a gift for his young wife.
    However, Mary is no longer a little girl; she is pregnant now, and greets Joseph almost begging him not to be angry about her condition. He is bewildered, and she recounts her dream to explain why she’s pregnant.
You can use my translations however you like.
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Submitted by Stefano8Stefano8 on Wed, 13/04/2016 - 19:48
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Il ritorno di Giuseppe

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