Se la mia vita da l'aspro tormento (Giaches de Wert)

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  • (Posted 2020-06-05)  CPDL #59086:       
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2020-06-05).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 563 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed up one note from D-dorian.

General Information

Title: Se la mia vita da l'aspro tormento
Composer: Giaches de Wert
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1567 in Il quarto libro de madrigali a cinque voci (Giaches de Wert), no. 3.1,2
Description: There are two parts in one file.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Se la mia vita da l'aspro tormento,
Si può tanto schernire,e dagli affanni,
Ch'i' veggia per vertù de gli ultimi anni,
Donna, de' bei vostr'occhi il lume spento,

E i capei d'oro fin farsi d'argento,
E lassar le ghirlande e i verdi panni,
E il viso scolorir che ne miei danni,
A lamentar mi fa pauroso e lento.

Pur mi darà tanta baldanza Amore,
Ch'i' vi discovrirò de' mei martiri,
Qua' sono stati gli anni, e i giorni e l'ore;

E se'l tempo è contrario ai bei desiri,
Non fia ch'almen non giunga al mio dolore
Alcun soccorso di tardi sospiri.

 Petrarca, Canzoniere 12

English.png English translation

If my life of bitter torment and of tears
could be derided more, and made more troubled,
that I might see, by virtue of your later years,
lady, the light quenched of your beautiful eyes,

and the golden hair spun fine as silver,
and the garland laid aside and the green clothes,
and the delicate face fade, that makes me
fearful and slow to go weeping:

then Love might grant me such confidence
that I'd reveal to you my sufferings
the years lived through, and the days and hours:

and if time is opposed to true desire,
it does not mean no food would nourish my grief:
I might draw some from slow sighs.

 Translation: A.S. Kline