La verginella è simile alla rosa

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General information

Lyricist: Ludovico Ariosto from Orlando furioso, canto I ottava 42

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See also Byrd's setting of this in English at The fair young virgin

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Text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

La verginella è simile alla rosa,
ch’in bel giardin su la nativa spina
mentre sola e sicura si riposa,
né gregge né pastor se le avicina;
l’aura soave e l’alba rugiadosa,
l’acqua, la terra al suo favor s’inchina:
gioveni vaghi e donne inamorate
amano averne e seni e tempie ornate.

English.png English translation

The virgin has her image in the rose
Sheltered in garden on its native stock,
Which there in solitude and safe repose,
Blooms unapproached by sheperd or by flock.
For this earth teems, and freshening water flows,
And breeze and dewy dawn their sweets unlock:
With such the wistful youth his bosom dresses.
With such the enamored damsel braids her tresses.

Translation by William Stewart Rose

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