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

S'io avesse pensato che sí care
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG
S'io avesse pensato che sí care
fossin le voci de' sospir miei in rima,
fatte l'avrei, dal sospirar mio prima,
in numero più spesse, in stil più rare.

Morta colei che mi facea parlare,
e che si stava de' pensier miei in cima,
non posso, e non ho più sí dolce lima,
rime aspre e fosche far soavi e chiare.

E certo ogni mio studio in quel tempo era
pur di sfogare il doloroso core
in qualche modo, non d'acquistar fama.

Pianger cercai, non già del pianto onore:
or vorrei ben piacer; ma quella altèra,
tacito, stanco, dopo sé mi chiama.

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, 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: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2009-08-26 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:20
Line count: 14
Word count: 101

If I had thought the voice of my sighs
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
If I had thought the voice of my sighs
in verse would have been held so dear,
I’d have made them, from my first breath,
greater in number, purer in style.

She who made me write them is dead,
she who was the summit of my thoughts,
and I’m unable, and no longer have the skill,
to make harsh gloomy verses sweet and clear.

And in truth my efforts at that time
were to ease the saddened heart
in that manner, not to acquire fame.

I sought to weep, not gain honour from tears:
now would like to please: but that noble one
calls me, silent and weary, after her.

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: 2015-03-11 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-03-11 22:11:08
Line count: 14
Word count: 110