Poet: Pietro Antonio Domenico Trapassi (Metastasio)
Dates: 3 January 1698 – 12 April 1782
Title of Poem: O Fair Unsullied Rose
O fair unsullied Rose, whose leaf was fed
With sweetest dews, and drank the morning ray;
Whose graceful bud now bending on the spray,
Fanned by Aurora’s breath, puts on the red;
That careful hand which plucks thee from thy bed
Removes thee only to a brighter day,
Where stripped of thorn, and never to decay,
Thy choicer beauties may unmingled spread.
Thus art thou planted a perennial flower,
Far from this fickle region full of gloom,
Which winds disturb, and frost and sweeping shower,
A faithful Guardian tends thee now, by Whom
Secured thou shalt combine, in peaceful bower,
Immortal fragrance with immortal bloom.
Brief Biography: Metastasio was considered one of the most important writers of opera seria libretti. As a child Metastasio enterntained viewers with impromptu performances of verse on any given subject attracting the attention of Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina who took the boy on as his protégé. Metastasio’s work is emotional, lyrical and romantic; his use of language is limpid and pure giving a powerful musical effect.