O tempo, o ciel volubil (Orlando di Lasso)

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Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2018-06-13).   Score information: Letter, 6 pages, 488 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed up one note from G-dorian.

General Information

Title: O tempo, o ciel volubil
Composer: Orlando di Lasso
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1585 in Madrigali novamente composti a 5 voci, no. 3

Description: There are two parts.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

O tempo, o ciel volubil, che fuggendo
Inganni i ciechi e miseri mortali,
O dí veloci piu che vento e strali,
Hora ab esperto vostre frodi intendo:

Ma scuso voi, e me stesso riprendo,
Che Natura a volar v’aperse l'ali,
A me diede occhi et io pur ne' miei mali
Li tenni, onde vergogna e dolor prendo.

E sarebbe hora, et è passata homai,
Di rivoltarli, in piú secura parte,
E poner fine a gl'infiniti guai;

Né dal tuo giogo, Amor, l'alma si parte,
Ma dal suo mal; con che studio tu'l sai;
Non a caso è virtute, anzi è bell'arte.
(Canzoniere 355)

English.png English translation

O time, O fickle sky, that flickers by,
deceiving blind and miserable mortals,
O days swifter than arrows or the wind,
now from experience I know your guile:

but I excuse you, and blame myself,
since Nature unfurled your wings for flight,
gave eyes to me, and I held them fixed
on my ills, from which came grief and shame.

And I know the hour: it’s already past,
for turning towards a more secure place,
and putting an end to infinite pain:

the soul does not leave your yoke, Love,
but its own ills: with what labour you know:
virtue comes not by chance, but by true art.
(Translation: A.S.Kline)