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

Se lamentar augelli, o verdi fronde
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Se lamentar augelli, o verdi fronde
mover soavemente a l'aura estiva,
o roco mormorar di lucide onde
s'ode d'una fiorita et fresca riva,

là 'v'io seggia d'amor pensoso et scriva,
lei che 'l ciel ne mostrò, terra n'asconde,
veggio, et odo, et intendo ch'anchor viva
di sí lontano a' sospir' miei risponde.

«Deh, perché inanzi 'l tempo ti consume?
- mi dice con pietate - a che pur versi
degli occhi tristi un doloroso fiume?

Di me non pianger tu, ché' miei dí fersi
morendo eterni, et ne l'interno lume,
quando mostrai de chiuder, gli occhi apersi».

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):

    [ None yet in the database ]

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other 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) , "Canzone CCLXXIX Se lamentar augelli"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-20
Line count: 14
Word count: 97

If the birds lament, or the green leaves
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
If the birds lament, or the green leaves
move gently in the summer breeze,
or soft murmurs of the clear waves
are heard from a fresh flowering river-bank,

where I sit thinking of love and writing,
then I see her whom heaven shows, earth hides,
and I hear and understand that she still lives,
though far away, responding to my sighs.

‘Ah, why are you so aged before your time?’
she asks with pity, ‘why does a sad stream
always flow from your grieving eyes?

Don’t weep for me, my days, in dying,
became eternal ones, and when the light
within seemed to darken, my eyes opened.’

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: 107