These translations by Charles Marshall of madrigals from Monteverdi's Il Quarto Libro dei Madrigali do not use a literal, word-for-word account of the texts because of the impossibility of retaining the original music of the poetry in a translation from late sixteenth and early seventeenth century Italian to modern English. Instead, they provide poetic translations that faithfully relate the sense of the originals, but re-cast that sense so that, in keeping with Monteverdi's intentions with the Seconda Prattica, the words of his madrigals live for an English-speaking audience.
The four translations below are a collection of those texts for which a score is not currently available at CPDL. When scores becomes available, the corresponding translation should be imported into Wiki pages, either attached to a particular work or as a separate translation page. You can view the list of "text pages" (which contain commonly set texts) here. There is a help page for adding texts and translations here. If you wish to add it to an existing score page, then add the translation near the end of the page, between the "Original text" and the final Categories. After the texts and translations have been added, delete them from this page. Here is a template:
==Original text and translations==
<Latin text goes here>
''Translation supplied by [[User:CharlesMarshall65|Charles Marshall]]''
<English text goes here>
Volgea l'anima mia soavemente (Battista Guarini; from Rime 62)
She came to me in the simple dress of love,
and her eyes said, Lie with me for I am beautiful; the breeze put down its leaves
and listened, clouds slowed, the evening blushed.
She grasped my chest then snatched her hand away
whereupon that sullen child, my self,
turned towards her face which seemed to say, Give me your heart, I live for nothing else!
Hearing this, my heart, all needy, rushed
towards that source of loveliness and light
so that I gasped and cried out, Desperate and without heart, who now will give me life?
Bringing me gently to her breasts she sighing
whispered, I will, for I am your heart.
Volgea l'anima mia soavemente
quel suo caro e lucente sguardo,
tutto beltà , tutto desire,
verso me scintillando, e parea dire: Dam' il tuo cor, ché non altrond' i' vivo.
E mentr' il cor sen vola ove l'invita
quella beltà infinita,
sospirando gridai: Misero e privo del cor, chi mi dà vita?
Mi rispos' ella in un sospir d'amore: Io, che son il tuo core.
Anima mia, perdona; first part (Battista Guarini; from Il Pastor Fido Act III, Scene 4, lines 539-547)
Behind your lover’s lips there waits an adder;
each word of hers is poison to your soul.
Within your darling’s face there lies a winter,
for when you come to her, her eyes are cold.
Forgive, my love, the words and eyes that hurt,
for though she acts as if your enemy,
inside the hidden chapel of her heart,
with litanies of love she worships you.
So sick though is your soul it cannot hear;
I see its anger feeding on your grief,
plotting all night how best to make her suffer;
and yet if you must be revenged what better
vengeance is there than to know beneath
her cruel act she weeps to see your tears?
Anima mia, perdona
a chi t'è cruda sol dove pietosa
esser non può; perdona a questa, solo
nei detti e nel sembiante
rigida tua nemica, ma nel core
e, se pur hai desio di vendicarti,
deh, qual vendetta aver puoi tu maggiore
del tuo proprio dolore?
A un giro sol de' begl' occhi lucenti (Battista Guarini; from Rime without number)
Your lovely eyes bless everything they see
and with one glance, what is seen seems changed. Look at the wind, you whisper and the trees
calm and the long grass rises on its stems;
and when you say The night is lovely, the shore
stills as though while tilting back in bliss
the moon forgot its tides. My darling, stare
one dawn unflinching on the sun, I swear
the birds that day will soar in different skies.
Yet there remain two things that cannot change:
the suffering and the grief within my eyes,
and the knowing that when you were born
with a soul so cruel and so unkind,
my heart was cursed to love you and to die.
A un giro sol de' begl' occhi lucenti
ride l'aria d'intorno,
e'l mar s'acqueta e i venti,
e si fa il ciel d'un altro lume adorno.
Sol io le luci ho lagrimose e meste:
certo quando nasceste,
così crudel e ria,
nacque la morte mia.
Longe da te, cor mio, struggomi di dolore (Anonymous)
Away from you, my darling, dreams of pain,
of tenderness and love torment my soul.
Though your absence is the lightless hour
when the world has sunk so deep into the well
of night it seems that it can never rise,
you are the flinging of the first few coins
of song into the dark whose scattered lights
fire the great engines of the dawn.
Return to me, oh please my love return,
and if the stars ordain I suffer even
when I’m in your arms, then may your eyes
become like suns rising in the heavens
of your face so that in bliss I burn
and burning, fade from you in crimson skies.
Longe da te, cor mio,
struggomi di dolore,
di dolcezza e d'amore.
Ma torna omai, deh, torna, e se 'l destino
strugger vorammi ancor a te vicino,
sfavilli e splenda il tuo bel lume amato,
ch'io n'arda e mora, e morirò beato.