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

Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Non so qual io mi voglia,
O viver o morir, per minor doglia
Morir vorrei, che 'l viver m'é gravoso
Veggendomi da voi esser lasciato;
E morir non vorrei, che trapassato
Più non vedrei il bel viso amoroso
Per cui io piango invidioso
Di chi l'ha fatto suo e me ne spoglia!


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: "Ballade", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , title 1: "Ballad", 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: 52

Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
I don’t know which I want,
To live or die, to diminish [the] suffering
I would die, life weighs on me1
Seeing myself abandoned by you;
But I would not die, [because if I] passed away
I would not see [your] beautiful, loving face
[So] I weep with envy for [he] who
Had it and strips me of it!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 literally “is heavy to me"


  • 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