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

Erano i capei d'oro a l'aura sparsi
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Erano i capei d'oro a l'aura sparsi
che 'n mille dolci nodi gli avolgea,
e 'l vago lume oltra misura ardea
di quei begli occhi, ch'or ne son sì scarsi;
e 'l viso di pietosi color farsi
(non so se vero o falso) mi parea;
i' che l'ésca amorosa al petto avea,
qual meraviglia se di subito arsi?
Non era l'andar suo cosa mortale
ma d'angelica forma, et le parole
sonavan altro che pur voce umana:
uno spirto celeste, un vivo sole
fu quel ch' i' vidi, et se non fosse or tale,
piaga per allentar d'arco non sana.

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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: 99

She let her gold hair scatter in the...
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
She let her gold hair scatter in the breeze
that twined it in a thousand sweet knots,
and wavering light, beyond measure, would burn
in those beautiful eyes, which are now so dim:
and it seemed to me her face wore the colour
of pity, I do not know whether false or true:
I who had the lure of love in my breast,
what wonder if I suddenly caught fire?
Her way of moving was no mortal thing,
but of angelic form: and her speech
rang higher than a mere human voice.
A celestial spirit, a living sun
was what I saw: and if she is not such now,
the wound’s not healed, although the bow is slack.

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 14:33:24
Line count: 14
Word count: 118