Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



My soul

My soul, my love, where do you go?
My soul, from whom do you flee?
He who loves your bright eyes though
his heart has been hurt so badly?

My sorrowful eyes, let your tears flow,
O weep, as she goes on her way.
Sad eyes, you’ve lost all your glow
now her shining beauty’s gone away.

No more will I see her hand so rosy
it puts to shame Aurora’s glow,
no more in her bright shining eyes see
where love’s cupid pulls his bow.

I'll feel deep in the depths of my soul
a blazing fire that burns me to death.
Far or near they burn me no less,
those beautiful eyes, as well I know.

English translation by Paul Archer of the text of Alma Mia by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger (c1580-1651)) from Libro Quarto di Villanelle (1623). See the copyright notice below.

Alma Mia

Alma mia dove te ne vai?
alma mia chi fuggi tu?
Un ch'onore i tuoi bei rai,
ond'il cor ferito fu?

Lagrimate, occhi dolente,
lagrimate, ella s’en va.
Infelici, eccovi spenti,
senza i rai di sua beltà.

Ne vedrò la man di rose,
ch'alla Aurora scorno fà
ne le ciglia luminose
dove Amor con arco stà.

Sentirò ben giù nel seno,
foco tal ch'io ne morrò.
Lungi apresso ardon’ non meno,
quei begl'occhi, e ben lo sò.

Copyright notice. The translation is provided as an aid to musicians and audiences. Publication of the translation in print or digital formats is expressly forbidden unless permission from the author has been first obtained and acknowledgement of authorship is duly made. Permission will usually be granted so please contact Paul Archer with details of how you wish to make use of the translation.

For more translations into English of early music texts, go to:
Translations of early music texts.

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