Il dolce sonno

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General information

Lyricist: Ludovico Ariosto; Translator: William Stewart Rose, from Orlando furioso, canto XXXIII ottava 63

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Text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Il dolce sonno mi promise pace,
ma l’amaro veggiar mi torna in guerra:
il dolce sonno è ben stato fallace,
ma l’amaro veggiar, ohimè! non erra.
Se ’l vero annoia, e il falso sì mi piace,
non oda o vegga mai più vero in terra:
se ’l dormir mi dà gaudio, e il veggiar guai,
possa io dormir senza destarmi mai.

English.png English translation

Sweet sleep with promised peace my soul did buoy,
But I to bitter warfare wake anew;
Sweet sleep but brought with it fallacious joy,
But — sure and bitter — waking ills ensue.
If falsehood so delight and truth annoy,
Never more may I see or hear what's true!
If sleeping brings me weal, and watching woe,
The pains of waking may I never know!

by William Stewart Rose (1775-1843)

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