Un temp' io mi credea (Luca Marenzio)

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Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2023-05-25).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 85 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2017-10-16)  CPDL #46821:         
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2017-10-16).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 347 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Un temp' io mi credea
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. 17
Description: Capitolo, Ottava 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

Un tempo, io mi credea ch'avendo il raggio
de begli occhi presente e Cielo e Terra
non avesse bastato a farmi oltraggio.

Or ciò che vedo, lasso, mi fa guerra,
ma'l bel guardo divin per cui m'alzai
fin sopra il Ciel è quel che più m'atterra.

Mirando de bei lumi i dolci rai
voce par ch'oda ch'ivi dentro gridi,
questi son gli occhi ove tu lunge andrai.

English.png English translation

At one time, I used to believe that having the beam
of your lovely eyes near me, I had both Heaven and Earth,
and nothing would be enough to harm me.

Now, though what I see, alas, causes me strife,
for your divine gaze which raised me
up above the heavens, is what most drags me down to earth.

Gazing upon the sweet beams of your beautiful eyes,
a voice I seam to hear cries within:
These are the eyes from which you will be far parted.

Translation by Allen Garvin