Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



I could still laugh

I could still laugh at my woes while hoping
for pity from a pair of sparkling eyes,
but when hope dies
all that's left is painful yearning.

Vainglorious beauty doesn't see the pain.
The value of lasting loyalty,
the glory of true love
mean nothing to a heart that’s full of pride.

Open the eyes of your soul and see, O Chloris,
how my soul suffers
and senses it is close to death
yet loves and has no regrets even while dying.

But if you were to shut the door on pity,
may my death at least show you -
since love is now mute -
how a heart without hope goes on burning.

English translation by Paul Archer of the text of Già risi by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger (c1580-1651).

Già risi

Già risi del mio mal mentre sperai,
pietà da due bei rai,
ma se mori speranza
sol tormentar e sospirar m'avanza.

Superba e gran beltà piaga non vede.
Vanto di lungha fede,
gloria d’amor sincero
non placan un core de’ suoi pregi altero.

Dell’alma schiudi gl'occhi e mira, o Clori,
di quest'alma i dolori,
che già morir si sente,
et ama e pur morendo e non si pente.

Ma se pur di pietà chiudi le porte,
dicati almen la morte
se muto e fatto Amore,
senza sperar come n'avvampi un core.

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Translations of early music texts.

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