Copyright - 1991  




  • 1. Everywhere people are crying, in every town of Sicily.
  • 2. In Carini not only everybody is crying but everybody is mourning, in every home. In Carini the Baroness not only was well known, but she was very much loved.
  • 3. Who brought this painful news? Who has committed this atrocious crime?
  • 4. This is a curse: never he, who brought it, shall find peace in his heart.
  • 5. The mind cannot grasp this awful deed, it is so confused. The heart is full of pain, it is not just "full", but spilling out, as if it cannot contain the throbbing blood.
  • 7-9. I would like to sing a little song full of compassion, to express the pain for the one who was like a pillar to my house. Maybe the poet is a friend or even a relative of the Baroness. She was like the most beautiful star in the sky.
  • 10. Unhindered by any cloud: brilliant.
  • 11. Like an angel in heaven.
  • 14. When she went out in the balcony, she resembled the moon, and, like the moon in the sky, she was giving light to her people, close and far.
  • 15. One from the sky and the other from the balcony.
  • 16. As the moon in the sky brought light on the dark nights, so she was of help to her subjects.



  • 17-19. And all the people, near and far, loved her with all their heart.
  • 21. Now that heart has been pierced, and Sicily is crushed by sorrow. The desperation of the second verse is recurring.
  • 22. The Tower, the Castle are stained with blood, and even the altar is stained with blood, the sacrilege has taken place.
  • 23. All we can do now is cry.
  • 24-31. This octave, given to us by Luigi Galante, is complete, it is justified by the logic of the subject matter. The one given to us by S. Salamone-Marino (below) is fragmentary, it lacks the sense of continuity. It seems as the one reported by Salamone-Marino were a combination of two octaves, of which the second, still by Galante, is reported at the end of the poem as epilog.

    Beautiful eyes by worms eaten,
    Already buried under the earth,
    By friends and relatives since forgotten
    Only you of all my love knew.
    Think of her and for her go and pray,
    Give alms and good deeds always do,
    If others for you prayers should say;
    And one day all will be repaid to you.
    (SSM. 13-20)

  • The crude, graphic reality of the beautiful eyes eaten by worms, is shuddering, but the remembrance of love and beauty are taking form in the confused mind of the poet. The lover (or the poet?) call as witness of the great love the sweet eyes, which he cannot forget, even if they are already forgotten by friends and relatives. He insists in remembering, and, as if he could not believe in the reality of the day, asks to those eyes that they would tell of their love. "Oh beautiful eyes, only you know of my love...." how great it is. Only you could tell about it. Always talking to those eyes (it's an adoration!) which, every night, appear to him in his dreams, he asks them, for the love of all his kisses to recount his love.



  • 32. The confusion in the mind of the poet, gives place to a painful resignation of the heart. It is as if he were taken by a deep sense of loneliness, and searches for understanding in everything: not in humans, one of whom has done the terrible deed, but in nature, to the rivers, the mountains, the trees, to which he asks to cry with him for the unspeakable loss: to mourn with him the indescribable crime, which took away from everybody the beautiful Baroness.
  • 33. Oh sun, oh moon don't ever show up again.
  • 34. The one who gave you the brilliant rays is gone.
  • 35. The rays of her great love coming out of her eyes made beautiful the sun and the moon. Everything was beautiful while she was alive.
  • 36. Little birds of the sky don't sing and fly anymore, uselessly you look for the one who was your joy.
  • 38-48. Even the little boats of the sea seem to come alive and with a soul, and the poet supplicant asks them to raise the sail of mourning. The black ones, those which are the irrefutable sign of who has lost a very dear one.
  • 40. In the Sicilian text, the poet is using all diminutives, which here they have a great effect: the heart is that big little heart, the eyes: those little pretty eyes, not little in size but little as in pretty, and that little mouth.
  • 42-43. That Love that wins always against anything and anybody, this time has lost the fight and "Cry your loss, there is no more place for you in her heart", love is now personalized.
  • 45. The cut between life and death is clean. All that a moment before was reason for the world to be beautiful and happy, is not there anymore; every sign of her is gone. Love, the light of all, has been eradicated, and the blind fog of the night has come down on the little big heart, on the little pretty mouth, on the little beautiful eyes. From all that beauty nothing remains, nor even the shadow.



  • 46. To the passive, resigned grief of the poet, the rage and the offense suddenly take place. It is the awakening of the senses from the dumbness where the sudden violent news had thrown the poet: the blood asks for revenge.
  • 47. That red blood on the wall. The bloody imprint left by the Baroness, while falling wounded, trying to find support on the wall. The legend says that in the nights with moon, the bloody imprint of the Baroness' hand reappears on the wall where she sought support while falling.
  • 48-51. This vengeance will come from God, who with His Divine Justice, which goes slow, with laden feet, reaches, in an infallible way, the Cain, that is the parricide.
  • 52. After the sudden burst of rage, the poet's mind is taken again by the inexpressible hurt for the great loss and complaints that he didn't even get the chance to surround the lifeless body of the Baroness, with flowers.
  • 53. I didn't see anymore your beautiful features.
  • 54. The author fills like he is dying, he is out of breath, the hurt is too much, asphyxiating.
  • 55. Kneeling on her tomb.
  • 56. The poet now asks his intelligence, his mind (his muse?) to wear the poetic wings, to excel in these moment of dark tragedy to describe this very deep sorrow.
  • 58. To be able to express these tears, this oppressing grief.
  • 59. A non common mind, a great intelligence is needed.
  • 61. The bad luck, this immeasurable loss, that is of the Baroness, has thrown the poet in the deepest abyss of hopelessness. That sense of desperation and bewilderment is present again, where the mind doesn't find the suitable words to describe the mournful event.
  • 62. His heart is left without help or consolation.
  • 65. This is the end. Even the pilot of the little boat is dead. It seems as if the poet does not want to come out of that dismay, as if he were too weary even to resign himself, too tired even to live.





  • 66. The author starts to tell the unfortunate love story which ends in a terrible tragedy, where the Baroness loses her life and the town of Carini loses its benefactress.
  • 67. from sometime now, around the Castle, you can see a handsome knight, who keeps his sights on the windows above.
  • 68. The Vernagallo is of aristocratic family.
  • 69. He is first among his peers, for his looks and social position.
  • 70. He goes around the Castle without stopping like the bee in April goes from flower to flower to suck the nectar.
  • 72. From dawn till dark, all day long.
  • 73. He keeps his eyes on the windows, to have a glimpse at her, in case she should come to the windows.
  • 74. He is like an omnipresent spirit, he is everywhere she goes: as if he anticipates her moves. Now you see him in the plain below fast flying on a wingless horse, like its knight's love.
  • 76. Now you see him in church, where she goes to worship, with flaming eyes full of love.
  • 78. Now you find him at night in the garden serenading the love of his life.
  • 80. Most beautiful and pure image. Isn't perhaps the white lily symbol of purity? In fact the poet compares the Baroness to the white lily. The next verse gives confirmation. This comparison of the Baroness with the white lily is made before the love affair of the Baroness with the handsome Vernagallo.
  • 81. Wrapped in its own petals (the lily), almost still closed, bashfully closed, bound by its own chastity. You cannot find words better than those that are used by the poet, it's like he has got the monopoly of the language, he leaves you with no other words to use.
  • 82. She tries to shun, to avoid those anxieties, signs of love, which, she knows, aim to an impossible relationship. Then why is she nursing that destructive fire?
  • 83. She does not pay heed to the haste of the knight in love: to his appearing on that fast horse in the plain below, to his flaming glances every time that their eyes meet.
  • 84. But she is on fire now burning with powerful flames, those flames of love which destroy the reason.
  • 85. She is going crazy, almost she loses her mind, she gets disheartened. She does not know what to do, or why she is trying to resist and win over those feelings.
  • 86. She racks her brain to find a good solution, while the beautiful image of him is always present.
  • 88. While she is trying hard to find a solution, the most honorable, the darts of love become more intense, more painful and they win over her, and says: "How can you stand it Caterina?"
  • 90. The mind is not the strongest, it has very little power against love.
  • 91. Because love wins over everything. This recalls Dante's observation about Francesca Da Rimini (Inferno, Fifth Cantcle ) - Amor che a nullo amato amar perdona...(Love doesn't forgive those who are loved to love back) Those who are loved must love in turn.




  • 92. The original text refers to the white lily, sign of purity. This little pretty flower was born at the same time other flower were born: at springtime... This love little in the beginning, just like a little pretty flower, it's just like a flower born at springtime.
  • 93. It bloomed in March, slowly.
  • 94. April and May saw it completely blossomed and enjoyed all its scent. We talk still of the love which grows fast and becomes always greater and starts to stamp its imprints on the beautiful girl's face.
  • 95. Went on fire, started to burn with the sun of June, in an allegoric sense.
  • 96. This fire in the heart burns continuously without rest, like nursed by a superior force.
  • 97. As a matter of fact, it burns without consuming: it is like an eternal image.
  • 98. Those sparkling glances, that galloping around the Castle, all the moves of the young knight in love, have touched the heart of the beautiful Baroness. Now the great, immense fire of love, gives life to the two hearts, there is, the two youths cannot live anymore the one without the other.
  • 99. Because now love attract the two hearts like a magnet, in a fateful way.
  • 100. By forgetting the law of society, the family honor and even God's law (so great is the strength of those feelings), the idyll starts. Her love which didn't dare show up, for respect and fear, comes out in all its splendor. Finally after so much suffering, happiness envelopes the two lovers. Oh what a sweet life, nothing compares to it.
  • 101. They are so happy as if they were on top of the world.
  • 102. The sun, very pleased and captured by this great and happy love, stops from its eternal voyage to look at them.
  • 103. And its rays lovingly wrap around the two lovers. In these last verses the two lovers, bound by their happiness, forget everything, and even the time stops for them.
  • 104. only one chain, only one love binds the two hearts, which in turn beat together, in unison. Happiness now makes their world beautiful, rich and full of noble colors, the colors of gold and of the delicate rose.
  • 108. Gold, unfortunately, is the envy of everybody, and happiness is also reason for envy, and the rose is beautiful but for a brief life.
  • 110. Happiness and riches of this world are like the foam of the sea, brief, and so is the rose which withers away and its petals fall with no life. The image of the rose that withers and loses its petals is effectively perturbing.





  • 113-115. I am tired, I'll go to bed. "Little monk", calls him the poet with a heavy note of sarcasm. The poet has nothing but contempt for this spy, who by his own initiative, goes to the Baron's palace saying that he absolutely needs to talk to the Baron about a matter of outmost importance, and gets him out of the bedroom where he had already retired.
  • 116-117. They have been all night together. The "little monk" had a lot to tell him: about the love of the two youths made ugly by his lies and innuendos, making sure that the Baron reaches a point of blind madness.
  • 118-120. Oh, what a gloomy, wrathful look has the Baron when he comes out to dismiss the monk. The monk comes out smiling. He is like a diabolic being who takes pleasure in the evil that he has accomplished.
  • 121. While the Baron in its room is going crazy and loses his reason for the furor that the news has produced in him.
  • 122-123. Even nature foretells the tragedy: the moon hides itself going behind the clouds, putting the Palace and the surrounding countryside in a frightful darkness. The owl, ill omen bird, flies away in fear.
  • 124-127. A sense of mortal curse comes out of the story. The Baron's decision, dictated by the humiliated pride and by the code of honor, is fast coming. The rage has made him full of energy, he has lost is sense of fatigue that he was suffering before. He dresses himself hurriedly and dons his arms with accurate speed. He has already given his orders to his men, to be ready on the moment, and spurring his horse to blood, incite his men to follow him, even if it is still night
  • 128. Dawn is almost like a beautiful girl, she is coming down in her rosy colors, so ever delicate, ...Fleshly rosy...It is the birth, the beginning of a new day.
  • 129. Over the mountains of the island of Ustica, right on the horizon. You could see Ustica from the Castle on very clear days.
  • 130. The swallow flies and chirps happily. This is a little bird very gentle and timid and always so happy. The analogy with the Baroness, very happy before and terribly fearful after, is the prelude to the horrible stage of what is about to happen.
  • 131. The swallow flies high in the sky to welcome the morning sun. It is great the joy of being in love and to be happy at that time.
  • 132. But the hawk, menacingly, bars its path, and so is interrupted the sweet life.
  • 133. The predator wants to lick its claws, only that the poet has a sarcastic diminutive for the terrible claws and calls them little, pretty claws.
  • 134. Timid, better, scared, gets in the deepest corner of its nest.
  • 135. Barely in time, almost by miracle. Not so for the Baroness, whose father's cruelty is a hundred time greater than the hawk's.




  • 136. She doesn't even dare to look out anymore.
  • 137. And doesn't even think of singing.
  • 138. The fear, the terror of the Baroness in seeing her father coming in the plain, are equal to those of the little swallow at the sight of the hawk. Maybe the Baroness guessed that her father knew something of her love affair, hence the terror at the sight of his early coming, and with armed men.
  • 140. The Baroness was out in the balcony with some of her entourage.
  • 141. To enjoy, satisfied, the coming up of the new day.
  • 142. With her eyes to the sky, as if enchanted by its purest blue, and her mind to her love which was making her immensely happy.
  • 143. First and last goal of her life.
  • 144. 'I see coming a company of knights.'
  • 145. The recognition is crushing. She cannot recognize her father still at a good distance, but the heart has a keener sight. The knowledge that she has offended her father, and that she has stained his and the family honor, tell her that the knight in the lead is her father, and, what's worse, she knows the reason why he is coming.
  • 148. She knows why her father has come, but in a last strand of hope, she asks: "Why have you come?"
  • 149. As she addresses her Father with great respect, using the aristocratic upbringing of hers, and calls him Sir..., so he addresses his daughter with aristocratic disdain and calls her... Lady.... And while in her... Sir... you can find trepidation, respect, terror and, why not, a thread of hope (the love of a father could be stronger than rage...), in his... Lady... there is only the cold contempt of who of the daughter has forgotten the name and the blood relationship that exist between them, and the answer is simply ferocious:..."I come to kill you!"
  • 150. Let me have, give me a little time.
  • 150. So she can call the priest to confess her sins, and die in peace with God. To the terror of the realization that her father comes to kill her, and with her father's confirmation, succeeds almost a sense of resignation, and asks only permission to reconcile with God.
  • 152. The answer of her father is disdainful.
  • 154. Your time has come, you have played long enough.
  • 155. There is no more time, nor even to asks forgiveness to God and to receive the Sacrament. Her father's ferocity goes beyond imagination, he does not have any piety, nor even for the daughter's soul.



  • 156. Bitter words, terrible, full of deep rancor, almost of hate, certainly menacing.
  • 157. Is it the father killing the daughter? It seems like he is unsheathing the sword, but then... gives the order to one of his men... Haste, companion..., it does not seem true, but the next verse says so:... Finish her...
  • 158. Don't you miss her: it is an exhortation and a threat at the same time.
  • 159-163. The poet, bewildered tells, with simple words, the horrible death of the Baroness. When her father refuses every prayer, she runs away, but in so doing she gets caught in the back by the first strike of the sword. She turns around in a move of disbelief and stupor, and the second strike opens her heart.
  • 166. Tired, exhausted and worn down by excitement, fear and loss of blood, she calls her maidens and her servants for help. She had always been kind to them.
  • 167. She was running away, from room to room to save her life.
  • 168. She was calling out to her people for help.
  • 169. To haste, because her father was killing her. The term that the poet uses, is slaughter, such is the cruelty of the Baron.
  • 170. Realizing now that nobody is helping her, and feeling death upon her, she curses her people to whom she had given so much and of her riches and of her affection. In the last moments of life, the Baroness is full of many sentiments: fear, terror, resignation, pain and lastly despair. Despair to be abandoned by everybody, despair to see herself to be dying alone without the help of her friends, away from her family, without the comfort of a confessor, alone and hunted like an animal.
  • 171. The cruel death is upon her, the one yell of despair is the only and last sound she can cry.



  • 172-174. Her last word and her last breath. The last painful sound.
  • 175-177. And then she dies. She has lost all her blood from her wounds and she loses her color, that denotes life. Now that dead is your Patroness, your benefactress.
  • 178. That beautiful flower that blossomed in Carini, now is dead.
  • 179. In his painful heart the poet finds too a word for that traitor (the little monk), who caused this terrible deed of blood.
  • 180. The ferocity of the father (now maybe repentant), does not pose opposition anymore to what goes on around the body of his daughter, and the piety, the tenderness, the overwhelming of so many feelings come out from the poet's heart. He tells all the men of the cloth to bless the corpse, and proceed to the tomb.
  • 182. He tells also the people to start after her, and make a procession. To accompany her to the church, where she will be buried.
  • 184-187. And the poet tells those near her to dry the last drops of sweat from her now purple face.


  • 188. The bad news of the death of the baroness, travels very fast and reaches the family at the palace.
  • 189. The grandmother at the news faints away.
  • 190. The sisters tear away their hair for the sorrow.
  • 191. Her mother lost her sight at the news.
  • 193. The knife in her heart is the knowledge of the premature and inhumane death of her daughter.
  • 194. Her daughter disappeared in one night.
  • 195. She, the mother, gets white hair in one night. This full octave is dedicated to the pain, to the intense sorrow of the family, for the loss of the little pretty flower that adorned the town of Carini, with her beauty, her kindness and her love, all of which was the light and pride of the family's eyes.
  • 196. Nobody takes care of the daily chores anymore: the little plants die in the pots, for lake of water, just as the little pretty Baroness is dead.
  • 197. The windows are deserted, nobody looks out anymore.
  • 198. The rooster doesn't sing anymore.
  • 199. Fluttering the wings flees from that place permeated by death. The sorrow of the poet reaches new heights, where nature, once again, becomes witness of the heinous crime and loses any form of life around, while anything still left alive runs away from the deadly scene.



  • 200-201. The people of the town at the news get in small groups of two and three. They are very concerned and fearful.
  • 202. Through the town you can hear like a humming noise, like that of a hornet, due to the general whispering of the people.
  • 203. Mixing to that whispering complaints and crying. The term that the poet uses for complaints as of someone in pain, is extremely effective in Sicilian, while at the same time it is undetermined between the howling of an animal in pain and a painful crying of a human being, who is afraid that his crying may be heard by anybody adverse to such an expression of sorrow.
  • 205. Away from the most dear people: her mother and her lover (the motif of the verses 165-170 is here repeated).
  • 206. Slaughtered like an animal.
  • 207. With not even the comfort of a priest. The cruelty of the Baron reappears in the mind of the poet in all its weight, in having killed the daughter like an animal.
  • 208. The astonished and sorrowful whispering goes on: She is interred in the dark of night, as to hide the crime to the authorities.
  • 209. The funereal atmosphere is so heavy in that night, even the gravedigger is afraid.
  • 210-211. Oh, poor love...! This pain is crushing me. Dead so young, interred at night.

  • 212. All of Sicily is perturbed by the feral news.
  • 213. The news fast flies across the realm.
  • 214. It turns away when it sights the Vernagallo (he is the Sir of Dainu Asturi, which is his holding).
  • 215. Nobody has the heart to tell him what has happened. Who is going to plunge this knife in his heart as it had been plunged in the mother's heart.
  • 216. The young man does not know anything yet, he has been trying to avoid the Baron, who is looking for him.
  • 217. He went to hide in the old neighborhood of Lattarini (an old Arab neighborhood in Palermo: Suk-el-Atterin).
  • 218. He comes out at night, goes near the Castle, looking at the windows.
  • 219. A mysterious darkness envelopes the Castle, how come?




  • 220. An inexplicable silence is here.
  • 221. It make the heart throb violently because of a pre-sensed fear.
  • 222. In the dark there is also like a fog that makes it hard to see well. In this desolate darkness the Castle silhouettes itself high against the black sky, becoming a frightful sight
  • 224. All this episode now is what gave birth to the beautiful song by Di Giacomo Fenesta ca lucive (Window that was lighted), still sung today, at times, by Luciano Pavarotti, and his rendition makes your hair stand up. Starts here the lover's cry. He, in few words, gets the news of the tragic deed, which almost kills him: what a bad luck, the windows are closed.
  • 225. Where from his adored goddess use to look out.
  • 226. She doesn't look out as she use to.
  • 227. Surely, she must be ill. A terrible feeling is taking hold in his heart from what he sees, but his mind finds excuses: oh well, she must be sick.
  • 228. Suddenly.... May God curse you! In the word of the mother there is grief for the lost daughter, rancor and resentment toward him for having been the cause, and a curse comes out of her mouth.
  • 229. The one which you're looking for has been interred! It is as if she wants to use that news to pierce his heart, as hers was pierced; such is the rapidity with which she conveys the news to him.
  • 230. I roam around as does the moon. He goes around without an end, he is as in a coma induced by the sudden enormous pain of the news.
  • 231. He is looking for the lost love.
  • 232. The poet makes the comparison: life is full of light, spiritual as well as material. Death, on the contrary, is dark, almost black, as a stormy night, and it's ugly.
  • 233. Description of the horrible skull, which represents Death.
  • 234. See? He is handsome, Death knows that, because he is alive.
  • 237. The encounter with Death happens in the comatose state of is mind and body. It is like a bad dream where he gets the terrible news of her death and the frightening description of her state. Death, who, in very few words, has described the distressing state of the once beautiful Baroness, it's cold, and unfeelingly, and, in a hair-raising descriptive way, tells him of the horrifying state of his lady, and in the description does not mention what is obvious, there is that she is dead: Don't look for her, she has been interred.
  • 239. Death sends him to the Cathedral, there, where is the Blessed Mother.
  • 240. Lift the stone.
  • 241. She is there in a decomposing state. The Sicilian description is so graphic and live to make us pale with repulsive fright.





  • 242-243. Death cruelly keeps on with the description of the dead body of the Baroness. Now in the place of the splendid necklace, she points out the disgusting rat.
  • 244. In those beautiful hair, the mice have made their nest.
  • 245. Yes, the hair that used to be adorned with flowers and jewels.
  • 246. The macabre theme of the rats consuming the body of the Baroness, goes on: the rats have done away with her little hands, and have finished the beautiful eyes which had a unique beauty.
  • 248. The unfortunate lover finally is shaken out of that delirious dream. The daze where had put him the terrible news, given to him by her mother, vanishes, and the terror, that the encounter with Death fills his heart, shakes him awake and he finds reality, reality full of a dreadful anxiety. It is not true, it is not possible that she is dead. In the exhausting confusion of the mind he asks for the custodians of the church: "Tell me where are the custodians..."
  • 249. Quick, tell them to open the doors of the church. He wants to make sure that it is only a bad dream, he wants to look in the tomb himself.
  • 250. Hurry! Bring the keys.
  • 251. Or he will break those doors with his bear hands. The anguish to know the truth becomes wild.
  • 252. Is it really true? Is she dead? The heart is in despair: Oh, I need to see the Archbishop to tell him about my potion.
  • 254. I want to resuscitate my beautiful goddess.
  • 255. A goddess can't stay with the dead, it is not justified
  • 256. Here now starts the piercing prayer of the lover, asking to the church custodian to give him a little time with the dead Baroness.
  • 257. He wants to go down in the tomb and bring her some light.
  • 258. Oh, good custodian, please take care of her.
  • 259. Keep always a light there, so she won't be in the dark.
  • 260. She was afraid to sleep alone.
  • 261. Irony! She is now in the company of the dead.
  • 262. Put over a marble slab.
  • 263. With four angels, one on each corner.
  • 264. He wants that the little angels hold in their hands a writ of flower over her. This is almost a fascination with the poet; here we have a referral to verse 52. The dead are pleased with flowers and prayers, and she didn't have either. Now the poet wants to absolve this sacrosanct duty.
  • 265. The angels should be looking at the sky in a supplicating expression, and, while looking at the sky, crying for her premature death.
  • 266. In the marble slab should be engraved a writing with golden characters. Golden, not rich, but incorruptible, lasting.
  • 267. Write on the slab the Story of this woeful death.





  • 268. He is moving around incoherently, without an aim.
  • 269. The miserable lover, drawn to one place, toward his past, and pushed to the opposite side to avoid the hunt of the Baron, goes through canyon and gullies, to stay close to the Castle.
  • 270. His servant warns him to move farther.
  • 271. The Baron's men are closing in.
  • 272. All this octave is constructed in a thin allegory.
  • 273. All his being is tortured by what has happened.
  • 274. His luck has changed.
  • 275-276. What had appeared full of love and light, is now appearing full of hate and darkness.
  • 277. The Vernagallo doesn't want to live anymore.
  • 278-279. The bad omen that touched him is like a barrier which won't let him go back to the Castle. Fate has closed the gate to his love.
  • 280. Every hope is gone, even if his love still burns with great flames. Green is the symbol of hope, and fate has closed that route to him.
  • 282-285. Lost the hope to see again his love in life, fueled by that passion which does not give him any peace, he implores the devil, for a favor: to get the chance to see once more his beloved, in return he will gladly forfeit his soul. He doesn't care if he loses his soul to the devil if only he can see her once more. The despair of the young man has touched the deepest corner of his heart, and that is when he utters the terrible prayer, that's, when in his unconscious delirium, he delivers the prayer of damnation.
  • 286. The devil, personalized in the serpent, as in the biblical belief, in passing by heard his request. Note the sarcasm of the poet toward the devil: it is to say that the devil wasn't passing by, he is always and everywhere ready to please anybody who asks him.
  • 287. He tells the man to mount him and he will do as the man pleases, because, to him (the devil) the man's desire is the man's command.
  • 288. Man and beast disappeared in a very dark way.
  • 289-290. Now not even the poet knows any more if this is reality or a frightful dream. It is like the beginning of the end of life on this earth.
  • 291-293. Man and beast left this world and were transported in the netherworld. The soul of the man, numbed once again by the terrible experience of his loss, fills being taken to the abyss, much, much lower than the bowels of the earth and sea.




  • 295. Hell is so full that it couldn't take another soul. The man is already repenting to have come in this place of damnation (verse 294).
  • 296. After the eye has adapted to the semi-light of the place, the man starts distinguishing some of the particulars. And who he sees first? He sees the traitor, the one who caused all this, the monk, sitting on something hot.
  • 297. He has a book in his hands, maybe the book of prayers that he never read in life. The bitter sarcasm of the poet is very evident.
  • 298. From much closer inspection, the man sees that the monk is sitting inside a red hot kettle.
  • 299. He is roasting his delicate body.
  • 300. When he sees the man he outstretches his harm and makes ceremonies with his face: The hypocrisy of the monk surpasses the boundary of life and follows him all the way to hell.
  • 302-303. Time is punctual, and you will get what you deserve. The world is round and will always come to the point. When the seas dry out, all that is at the bottom will be shown and your hypocrisy will be seen by all. Very dark these last verses, maybe they are an addition by someone else.
  • 306. Looking around in that crowd of souls, a painful sight hits his eye: a circle of fire.
  • 307. In the middle of the horrible circle, is his love tortured by the flames.
  • 308. As it weren't enough, the wind was blowing tempestuously.
  • 309. Not only that, but it blows in a swirling manner, dragging along all the souls that are in the circle of fire. It is Dante's infernal storm, which spinning and flogging molests them ... and in so doing it forms itself as a turbine which:...from here and there, from down and up it drags them... Only that here the punishment is greater because the wind beats among the flames, and the souls are between wind and flames.
  • 310-311. She calls him cruel; because of him she is now damned to eternal suffering, but even in rancor there is still a trace . Of love in her words, and the crudeness of her words is made lighter by the next word: heart. She says cruel heart, it is sorrow, that such a great love would have such an end.
  • 312. She should have locked the door in his face.
  • 312. Instead of inviting him in. Love come here: The sweet remembrance of those priceless moments is still with her.



  • 314. His answer is not an excuse, a justification. It is the testimony of his great love for her that still burns him as the infernal flames are burning her.
  • 315. The world is now dead to him, now that the world does not contain her: with her has died his will to live.
  • 316. The lover gives her proof of his love: he tells her to open his chest and she will find written on his heart her beautiful name, Catherine.
  • 318. The sins are many, life is short. The poet advices the young man to turn to God. The visit to hell, in fact was only another bad dream, but in that dream it was shown to him what is awaiting if he does not repent.
  • 319. What are you waiting for? Ask for forgiveness, repent.
  • 320. The dream has foretold the future.
  • 321. It has shown what would happen, if you do not repent.
  • 322. That handsome, young man, as if taken immediately the advice of the poet, is seen emaciated and almost consumed by repentance and suffering.
  • 323. He is seen in a corner of the church.
  • 324-325. The unhappy soul is dressed in the habit of a monk. The pitiful word that come from his mouth, tear the soul away. The atrocious pain because he has sinned, the great lament of repentance, asks for forgiveness. Right here we cannot but think to the youth of the verses 76-77, where in the same church you can see him flashing his eyes full of ardor. The present scene makes us very sad, and we sympathize more with the youth for the fast and horrible happening of events.



  • 330. The young man has regained his senses. Reality hits him with all his sins , and overwhelms him with discouragement and repentance. Here starts the desolate lamentation with which he asks the pardon of the Creator. He wants to go in the most barren corner of the desert, there where nobody can see and help him but God.
  • 331. Sustaining himself with grass and with what else is in a desert, just as an animal.
  • 332-333. He wants to make for himself a bad of thorns and for pillow a hard rock. What, in other words, the poet is saying is that the Vernagallo, wants to become a hermit and live the rest of his life in making repentance.
  • 334-335. Beat his chest with a rock to the point that pain and repentance become so painful, to bring tears to his eyes and his eyes will flow with tears as a fountain.
  • 336-339. The tears will be so numerous and great to move to piety the Father of all, who seeing that repentance at last, with His infinite mercy, will open his arms to him, offering His forgiveness. His eyes here are compared to little rivulets that won't stop running.
  • 340-341. The poet's implication is foreboding. His declaration perpetually true. Transcendent justice always reaches us with graces and punishments. It is the God of A. Manzoni... That afflicts and consoles....
  • 342. After the religiously fatidic expression, the poet comes back to the story. The grief of the relatives has no end, actually it could be said that it is at the highest point of despair. There is a blind shadow (see verse 191) moving numbly around.
  • 343-345. It is the disconsolate mother who is still recognizable after such suffering. She does nothing anymore but sighs, she does not cry and does not speak anymore.
  • 346. From near by her, you can hear the wailing of the sisters. They complain that no funeral was done for her, not even a mass was celebrated. Nobody took her to the cemetery in a procession, as it is use to. They did not use the funereal traditional quilt over the hearse.




  • 352-353. The Castle that was so much admired and respected in all Sicily, has lost its good name. Even the sight of it fills one with fear. Nobody wants to come near the Castle anymore, that Castle is cursed.
  • 354-355. The Castle is like one of the most wanted bandits, and it has been closed out with walls and now is full of ghosts. This is the traditional belief that, if somebody had been killed in a place, that place will become infested with damned spirits. As it can be easily understood, the Castle here has become synonym with the Baron.
  • 356. The walls of the Castle are grieving and plan a curse over that wicked person, until they are washed clean of that blood.
  • 357. The godless Baron wails and wants to repent (the Baron is called here Godless (turk). Sicily had been occupied for two and one half century by the moors, who were Muslims. For the Sicilian Christians, that was understood as with no God, and, more, under the auspices of the devil. So if you wanted to offend someone and accuse him of being evil and cruel, you called him:- turk)
  • 358-359. That devilish man can't even sleep anymore. To the savagery of staining his hands with his own blood, takes place remorse and repentance, and once more loses his temper with himself and the world, and inveighs against God and himself for having been incapable of controlling his fury, and killing his daughter as a result.
  • 360-361. The torture of the remorse his far superior to his strength and he asks the sky to open over him with everything and he asks the earth to swallow him. He is not tortured only by what he has done, but also by the shame of what he has done, the shame of being a parricide. The Baron asks the sky to kill him with lightning and, in an instant, make ashes out of him.
  • 362. The ferocity with which he assaulted the daughter, now is directed at himself, asking anybody who is listening (even God), to tear out that heart of his, which is hard and with no compassion. The violence of his thinking is most potent.
  • 363. He hopes and asks strongly that anyone would knife him to death in his bed, while asleep.
  • 364-365. Remorse and sorrow have taken very fast the Baron to a delirium. He moves around at night, through the streets (from the French: rue), like a blind man with eyes wide open and full of suspicion for all of the shadows that dance around him.
  • 366-367. It is a fearful atmosphere of terror. You can feel the most cold wings of night. You can feel that Death without eyes and without mouth is around., and whispers: lost is your hope!
  • 368-369. All around him, in the black air of night, he feels the damned spirits moving and dancing around him and shrieking with frightful sounds.
  • 370-371. The delirium has taken the Baron in an hellish atmosphere where, while he turns and tosses in his sleep, in a bed of sharp nails, he doesn't find any peace.
  • 372. While a moaning voice says: Torment, torment! The crime committed and his deleterious nature, have made the Baron incapable to forgive the daughter and himself.
  • 374-378. Dejectedness rather than tiredness reach finally the Baron and he falls asleep. In the exhausted sleep, his feverish mind keeps his imagination going, and torments him with hellish visions of unfriendly spirits which enter one in another again and again, appearing and disappearing, like the fog.


  • 380. In his restless sleep, the Baron sees his all life flashing back: the happy, good days of his youth, the riches in his possession, the power that makes him one of the few. Then the children around the happy parents. All is at the highest point of happiness and of aristocratic splendor and power.
  • 385. His mind shows him the past life, full of every beautiful thing, as it were the wheel of fortune presenting him with new good thing at every round.
  • 386. In his intense desire to see again the past years, the mind misunderstands fancy with reality, and he wants to go to the Castle, to that Castle that gave him the title of Baron, to return to enjoy the daughter which is his treasure. That daughter of whom the moon had envy, and of whom everybody was saying that her beauty had won the sun.
  • 390. Suddenly the febrile mind comes back to the shadows of that fearful night, and the Baron squinting intensely in the darkness of each room looks for the daughter.
  • 391. He calls and calls, but to his calling not even echoes answer, as a testimony that all is gone: the daughter, the happiness and the vanity of all terrestrial things.





  • 394. Once again the dream gets mixed with reality. An unconscious apprehension, a foreboding anxiety tightens the Baron's heart as in a claw, almost cutting off his air. He looks for, and screams his adored daughter's beautiful name, being drawn, at the same time, to look for her in the silent room where he killed her.
  • 399. In the anguished sleep of that diabolic atmosphere, he sees an ugly old lady, a witch, and her he ask for help, to tell him where is the beloved daughter.
  • 401. "You I ask, old witch", says the Baron. It is a mockery of his inflamed mind.
  • 402. The pale, old witch, that does not look alive, raises the arm and with a shaking hand, points to the nearest room.
  • 406. With a painful, sarcastic exclamation, the poet encourages the Baron to dart toward that room, where, maybe, his daughter is sleeping, covered by a quilt.
  • 410. The Baron lifts the quilt and calls the daughter by name.
  • 411. This time, to his calling, loudly responds the silence of the dead, not even echoes is heard.
  • 412. Frantic in his search, he cannot believe that the bed is empty, and puts his arm under the sheets as far down as he can, and when he pulls it back, it is all wet with warm fuming blood.
  • 413-414. He stops, terrorized, with wide open eyes. In his delirious dream he had hoped to see the daughter once again, but the cruelty of destiny, makes him once more the killer, filling his hands and arm with the blood of his daughter. It is blood still living, still warm, still with beating life, which cries for vengeance. It is the fire of the vengeance which burns the arm of the Baron, and through his arm goes down deep in his black heart, that had never a crumb of compassion.
  • 418. At this point stops the anguished dream. The funereal dream of the Baron.... Or, maybe, the dream, that is as a funeral to the Baron? That is the dream which killed the Baron? It is the poet who sentences the Baron to such hard and violent remorse, taking vengeance finally over his unmerciful deed of blood.




  • 420. The poet is at the end of the story, and concludes it with a moral admonition: Don't lose your temper, don't lose the ability of reasoning. Anger makes our mind a slave, deprives it of its sight, and God will punish us with a heavy hand.
  • 421-422. Anger puts a bloody veil to our reason, and we do not see straight anymore. Suspicion its like a powerful poison which drags us toward the precipice and ruin.
  • 423. Because of anger, we put aside even honor and virtue, nothing is of value to us when we allow anger to take hold of us.
  • 424-425. For these bad deeds man is cursed and the curse extends to his future generations.
  • 426. Be careful then, think hard , because all who lose reason and let anger be victorious, ignoring the compassion that God has for us, will have no mercy, no forgiveness, and will be reached by the anger of God.
  • 430. The poet, with a final invocation, asks God to use his wrath over all who transgress God's teachings.
  • 432. Once more the poet turns to the town's people of Carini, that so much have loved their Baroness, to lament their loss.
  • 434. Finally, the poet, with a crying voice, speaks resigned, encouraging everybody of thinking of her, but live her in peace. Of not forgetting her, but not to gossip about her, and if they really loved her to leave her with the peace of the dead. To pray for her, because we ourselves will need prayers. To do good and it will be repaid to us.

[ Song by Salvatore Di Giacomo ]

Oh Window once Lighted
Oh lighted window now darkened,
maybe is ill my sweetheart;
out came her sister and bolted me:
Your Love is dead already interred.
Farewell dear window forever shut,
my lover cannot look out anymore.
I'll never come again by this way,
I go to walk around the cemetery,
till the day that the ungrateful death
lets me reunited be with my Love.
Go to the tomb and in the coffin look,
and see the state of your fair goddess:
the little mouth used to be a flower,
now is full of worms, oh the misery!
Dear mortician of her have good care,
a light always keep on in there.
She was afraid to sleep alone,
Now of the dead she is in the company!

The Origins
The Baroness Of Carini

[ Bibliography ]

Icarus' Flight
The three Ikars
The Baroness Of Carini
The Baroness Of Carini
The Baroness Of Carini
Oh Window once Lighted


The Sicilian
The Sicilian

Book third of the "Laudi" by G. D'Annunzio
Pietro Barcellona-Passalacqua
Salvatore Salomone-Marino
Federico De Maria
Salvatore Di Giacomo