Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator




I take my leave now and in parting tell you, my love,
how unfairly you break my heart
though I am faithful to you,
good night, my cruel mistress.

I take my leave now and in parting go step by step,
I entrust my heart to you as a sad token of love
with my few words,
good night, my sun.

I take my leave now and in parting go softly, softly,
I kiss your foot and one hand and the other,
my soul bows down to you,
good night, my queen.

I take my leave now and how hard it is to leave like this,
with soft eyes I look for your leniency,
forever pleading to you,
good night, love of my life.

I take my leave now and my soul cries out to you
and I entrust to you my aching heart
and say a final adieu,
good night, my love.

English translation by Paul Archer of the text of Partenza
by Giovanni Stefani (active 1618-1626).


Mi parto e nel partir ti dico amore
ch'ingiustamente tu mi dai dolore
essendot' io fedele,
bona notte crudele.

Mi parto, e nel partir vuo passo, passo
ti raccomando il cor ch'in pegno lasso,
ben mio poche parole,
bona notte, mio sole.

Mi parto, e nel partire vò piano, piano
ti bacio il piede, e l'una el’altra mano,
quest'alma a te s'inchina,
bona notte, Regina.

Mi parto e quanto dura, esta partenza,
con gl'occhi molli ti cerco licenza,
gridando sempre aita,
bona notte, mia vita.

Mi parto, e lo mio spirto va gridando,
e questo afflitto cor ti raccomando,
e nell' ultimo á Dio,
bona notte cor mio.

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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