Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



O how I feel close to death

O how I feel close,
cruel Phyllis, to death,
for my long martyrdom,
for my pain, for my sorrow,
I ask for no other mercy than just a kiss.

I long for no other reward,
for my martyrdom,
for my countless sighs,
than the sunshine of your kisses,
only then would I be able to die happy.

And you, cruel Phyllis,
you are so ungrateful,
you are so stubborn
that you deny a kiss again,
and I’m slain by miserable despair.

If I am going to die, Phyllis,
at least kiss me before
I take my life,
so that I can die happy,
and a kiss, alas, is no more than the sound made by the wind.

English translation by Paul Archer of the text of Hor che vicin mi sento by Domenico Obizzi (active 1620's).

Hor che vicin mi sento

Hor che vicin mi sento,
cruda Filli'à morire,
al mio lungo martire,
al mio mal, al mio duolo,
non chieggo altra mercè ch'un bacio solo.

Altro premio non bramo,
a miei tanti martiri,
a miei tanti sospiri,
ch'un sol de baci tuoi,
sol per poter morir contento poi.

E tu, Filli crudele,
esser vuoi cos'ingrata,
esser vuoi si spictata,
che neghi un bacio ancora,
sol per che lasso disperat'io mora.

Moro si moro, Filli,
almen baciami pria,
Ch'io mora'o vita mia,
che moriro contento,
e ch'altro è un bacio ohime ch'un suon di vento.

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Translations of early music texts.

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