Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



The happy lover

My darling, how my heart
Lives for you and dies for you:
My fate is in your hands,
Both my life and my death.
You hurt me with a look,
You heal me with a look,
So you only have to look at me
To give me death and life!
O, what a new miracle of love:
To taste life and death at once;
I don’t know which is better,
Whether dying or being alive.
I live constantly questioning
Whether I’m dead or alive:
But whatever fate may bring,
Alive or dead, I’m yours.

English translation by Paul Archer of the text of L'amante felice
by Giovanni Stefani (active 1618-1626).

L’amante felice

Bella mia, questo mio core
Per voi vive e per voi more:
Che voi siete per mia sorte
la mia vita e la mia morte.
Col bel guardo mi ferite,
Col bel guardo mi guarite
Quando dunque mi mirate,
Morte e vita, ohimé! mi date.
O d'amor miracol novo
Vita e morte a un tempo io provo;
Ne so quale è piu gradita
Se la morte o pur la vita.
Anzi in dubbio ancor io vivo
S'io son morto o s'io son vivo:
Ma sia quel che vuole il fato,
Vivo e morto a voi m'ho dato.

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.

© Paul Archer - All Rights Reserved