Queste felice erbette (Giovanni Gabrieli)

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Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2023-01-16).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 94 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Transposed down a 4th.
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2023-01-16).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 96 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Original high clefs.

General Information

Title: Queste felice erbette
Composer: Giovanni Gabrieli
Number of voices: 5vv   Voicings: SSAAB or SATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1589 in Il terzo libro de madrigali a 5 voci, no. 26

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Queste felice erbette
che non hanno d'amor spirito o senso
trovan lasso l'adore
da così bella man di dolce umore,
suavissima aita,
e sento dentro al core incendio immenso,
ch'io v'adoro, mia vita;
pur d'una stilla sol d'alta pietade
dalle luci beate;
non ho giusto soccorso:
Hai cruda, hai fera
serve alle piante e a me tirann'altera.

English.png English translation

These happy herbs
that have neither spirit nor sense of love,
find themselves adored
by such a beautiful hand of sweet temperament,
sweetest and kind.
And I feel in my heart an immense flame,
for I adore you, my life;
I need but only a drop of noble compassion
from those blessed eyes,
yet I get no just succor:
You are cruel, you are feral,
you serve the plants and tyrannize me.

Translation by Allen Garvin