O gran bonta de' cavallieri antiqui (Jacquet de Berchem)

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  • (Posted 2015-01-11)  CPDL #34243:       
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2015-01-11).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 82 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Parts and source available at IMSLP.

General Information

Title: O gran bonta de' cavallieri antiqui
Composer: Jacquet de Berchem
Lyricist: Ludovico Ariosto

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SAAB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1561 in Primo secondo et terzo libro del capriccio, no. 3

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Oh gran bonta de' cavallieri antiqui!
Eran rivali, eran di fe diversi,
e si sentian degli aspri colpi iniqui
per tutta la persona anco dolersi;
e pur per selve oscure e calli obliqui
insieme van senza sospetto aversi.
Da quattro sproni il destrier punto arriva
ove una strada in due si dipartiva.

English.png English translation

Oh! goodly truth in cavaliers of old!
Rivals they were, to different faith were bred.
Not yet the weary warriors' wounds were cold —
Still smarting from those strokes so fell and dread.
Yet they together ride by waste and wold,
And, unsuspecting, devious dingle thread.
Them, while four spurs infest his foaming sides,
Their courser brings to where the way divides.

Translation by William Stewart Rose