Mentre che 'l cor (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • CPDL #32021:    (MIDI)  
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2014-05-15).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 103 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Original pitch and note-values.

General Information

Title: Mentre che 'l cor
Composer: Orlando di Lasso
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

Published: 1555 in Primo libro di madrigali a 5 voci.

Description: The setting of Canzoniere 304 in two parts.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Mentre che 'l cor dagli amorosi vermi
fu consumato, e 'n fiamma amorosa arse,
di vaga fera le vestigia sparse
cercai per poggi solitarii et hermi;

et ebbi ardir cantando di dolermi
d'Amor, di lei che sí dura m'apparse:
ma l'ingegno et le rime erano scarse
in quella etate ai pensier' novi e 'nfermi.

Quel foco è morto, e 'l copre un picciol marmo:
che se col tempo fossi ito avanzando
(come già in altri) infino a la vecchiezza,

di rime armato, ond'oggi mi disarmo,
con stil canuto avrei fatto parlando
romper le pietre, et pianger di dolcezza.

Canzoniere 304

English.png English translation

While my heart was being consumed
by loving worms, burned in loving fire,
I searched for traces of a wandering creature
through the solitary enclosing hills:

and was so ardent singing of the grief
of Love, of her who seemed so cruel:
but wit and verse came meagrely,
in those days, to my young and feeble mind.

That fire is dead, and a little marble hides it:
a fire that if it had increased with time
(as it has in others) as far as my old age,

armed with verses, where everything disarms me,
I would, with that mature style, have made stones
shatter with my speaking, and weep with sweetness.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline ©