Tuesday, 19 March 2019

No greater pain in the world

Keeping on our pain theme, we have this Italian song or opera aria, written or set to music or both by Luca Marenzio, which I found randomly on Google sometime in 2011, translated the first verse of into English soon afterwards, on Sep 28, and the rest was translated into English only on Aug 31 2012. I'm not gonna lie: I completely ignored any tune this might have had, and treated it as a poem, simply keeping meter and rhymes. Also, "foglie" should probably be "voglie", making "lighted leaves" actually be "burning wishes" or the likes. I was unable to find a video, I only found the score and a midi, and a weird .capx file I have no idea whether I can open or not. Let's see it!


Non è dolor nel mondo
Né nel più oscur abisso e più profondo,
Par a quel d’un meschin servo d’Amore
Ch’in alta donna abbia locato il core.

Pasce l’alma dolente
Di speme, di speranza eternamente
Né d’altro sazia le sue foglie accese
Che d’un sol sguardo, una o due volte il mese.

E s’ella aprendo un riso
Gli volge a sorte e non ad arte il viso,
Reputa cortesia quel don che viene
Da puro caso e sé felice tiene.

E poi ch’ha speso il giorno
In girarsi a l’amato albergo intorno,
Passa la notte ragionando in vano
Col ritratto di lei che porta in mano.

Dunque lasciate, amanti,
Questo amor senza frutto e, da vacanti,
Amate donna tal, di cui possesso
Prender possiate e tenir sempre appresso.
In the world there’s no sorrow,
Nor in the darkest depth of any morrow,
As great as what the wretched lovers tames
That place their passion unto noble dames.

Their grieving souls they feed
With hope, with hope alone of what they need
Nor do they fill their lighted leaves with aught
But one look, once or twice a month to ’em brought.

If she, opened a smile,
By chance, not by art, on them turns her eye,
They hold a courtesy that gift which comes
From purest chance and gladness to him comes.

And as they’ve spent the day
Going around the loved house all the way,
They spend the night in speaking fruitlessly
To her portrait which in their hand they see.

So listen, lovers: leave
Such fruitless love and, as you’re free, believe
It best to love one, whom you can possess
Nor e’er lose after for unlovingness.

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