by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 - 1375)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Ma come potrei
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Ma come potrei io mai soffrire
Di partirmida te che t'amo pur tanto,
Che senza te mi par ognor morire?
Essendo teco non so giammai quanto
Più ben mi possa avere, o più disire.
Ma sallo bene Amore in quanto pianto 
Istà la vita mia la notte e 'l giorno,
Mentre non veggo questo viso adorno.


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):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Mais comment pourrais-je", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , title 1: "But how could I", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 56

But how could I
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
But how could I ever endure
To part from you whom I love so much,
That without you I seem to die every hour?
Being with you: I do not know what
Could be better or more desirable.
But Love recognizes it well in this cry:
Night and day dominate my life
While I don’t see [your] attractive1 face.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 literally “adorned"


  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to English copyright © 2015 by Laura Prichard, (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: 2015-12-26
Line count: 8
Word count: 59