Cantai, or piango

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General information

Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

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Text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Cantai, or piango, et non men di dolcezza
del pianger prendo che del canto presi,
ch'a la cagion, non a l'effetto, intesi
son i miei sensi vaghi pur d'altezza.

Indi et mansüetudine et durezza
et atti feri, et humili et cortesi,
porto egualmente, né me gravan pesi,
né l'arme mie punta di sdegni spezza.

Tengan dunque ver' me l'usato stile
Amor, madonna, il mondo et mia fortuna,
ch'i'non penso esser mai se non felice.

Arda o mora o languisca, un piú gentile
stato del mio non è sotto la luna,
sí dolce è del mio amaro la radice.

Canzoniere 229
English.png English translation

I sang, and now I weep, and I take no less
delight in weeping than I took in singing,
for the cause and not the effect, is in
my senses, longing for my noble one.

So I bear mildness and severity,
cruel or humble or courteous actions,
equally, no weight burdens me,
no weapon tipped with disdain touches me.

Let Love, my lady, world and fortune
treat me as they have always done,
and I will never think myself unhappy.

Alive, or dead, or languishing, there’s no
state better than mine beneath the moon,
so sweet is the root of my bitterness.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline ©

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