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

La vita fugge e non s'arresta un'ora
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG
La vita fugge e non s'arresta un'ora:
E la morte vien dietro a gran giornate;
E le cose presenti e le passate
Mi danno guerra, e le future ancora.
E 'l rimembrar e l'aspettar m'accora
Or quinci or quindi sì, che 'n veritate,
Se non ch'i' ho di me stesso pietate,
I' sarei già di questi pensier fôra.
Tornami avanti s'alcun dolce mai
Ebbe 'l cor tristo; e poi dall'altra parte
Veggio al mio navigar turbati i venti:
Veggio fortuna in porto, e stanco omai
Il mio nocchier, e rotte àrbore e sarte,
E i lumi bei, che mirar soglio, spenti.

R. de Lassus sets lines 1-8

About the headline (FAQ)


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 101

Life flies, and never stays an hour
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
Life flies, and never stays an hour,
and death comes on behind with its dark day,
and present things and past things
embattle me, and future things as well:
and remembrance and expectation grip my heart,
now on this side, now on that, so that in truth,
if I did not take pity on myself,
I would have freed myself already from all thought.
A sweetness that the sad heart knew
returns to me: yet from another quarter
I see the storm-winds rattling my sails:
I see no chance of harbour, and my helmsman
is weary now, and my masts and ropes are broken,
and the beautiful stars, I used to gaze on, quenched.

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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2015-03-10
Line count: 14
Word count: 114