by Francesco Petrarca (1304 - 1374)
Translation © by A. S. Kline

Più volte già dal bel sembiante umano
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Più volte già dal bel sembiante umano
ò preso ardir co le mie fide scorte
d'assalir con parole oneste accorte
la mia nemica in atto umile et piano.
Fanno poi gli occhi suoi mio penser vano
per ch'ogni mia fortuna, ogni mia sorte,
mio ben, mio male, et mia vita et mia morte
quei che solo il pò far l'à posto in mano.
Ond' io non pote' mai formar parola
ch' altro che da me stesso fosse intesa,
cosi m'à fatto Amor tremante et fioco.
Et veggi' or ben che caritate accesa
lega la lingua altrui, gli spirti invola:
chi pò dir com' egli arde è 'n picciol foco.

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (A. S. Kline) , no title, copyright © 2002, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

Text added to the website: 2007-04-16 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:21
Line count: 14
Word count: 109

Many times now, with my true thought
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
Many times now, with my true thought,
I’ve dared to assail my enemy, quiet and humble
in her actions, her beauty seeming kind,
with my honest well-considered speech.
Then her eyes rendered my thought vain
since all my fortune, all my destiny,
my good, my bad, my death and life, had been
placed in her hands, by him who alone can do so.
So I could not even form true words
that anyone but me could understand:
Love had made me blaze and tremble so.
And I see clearly now that glowing charity
ties a man’s tongue, and daunts his spirit:
who utters while he burns is in slight fire.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to English copyright © 2002 by A. S. Kline, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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Text added to the website: 2015-03-10 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-03-10 14:25:18
Line count: 14
Word count: 110