Ma quest' oimè temo (Luca Marenzio)

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  • (Posted 2023-05-24)  CPDL #73882:        (LilyPond)
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2023-05-24).   Score information: Letter, 6 pages, 81 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2017-10-15)  CPDL #46811:         
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2017-10-15).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 323 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Ma quest' oimè temo
Composer: Luca Marenzio
Lyricist: Luigi Tansillo

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SAATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1595 in Il sesto libro de madrigali a sei voci, no. 15
Description: Capitolo, Sesta parte; All parts can be found at Il sesto libro de madrigali a sei voci (Luca Marenzio)

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Ma questo, ohimè! temo che'n van s'attenda,
come il sonno amator delle fredde ombre
portar può cosa che tant' arda e splenda?

Né sia ch'uman pensier dipinga ed ombre
celeste lume ond'è'l bel viso adorno,
sì che dal tristo cor le nebbie sgombre,

Né perché io vada là, 've nasce il giorno,
avrà mai raggio il sol così lucente
che mi levi le tenebre d'intorno.

English.png English translation

But this, alas! I fear that I wait in vain,
for how can sleep, lover of cold shadows,
beget something so passionate and radiant?

Nor can human thought paint and shadow
the celestial light that adorns your lovely contenance,
so as to banish the mists from my sad heart,

Nor because I go there, where the day is born,
will the sun ever have a ray so bright
To cast off the gloom that surrounds me.

Translation by Allen Garvin