by Pietro Antonio Domenico Bonaventura Trapassi (1698 - 1782), as Pietro Metastasio
Translation © by Garrett Medlock

Ma, che vi fece, o stelle
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): FRE
Ma che vi fece, o stelle,
La povera Dircea, che tante unite
Sventure contro lei! Voi, che inspiraste
I casti affetti alle nostr'alme; voi,
Che al pudico Imeneo, foste presenti,
Difendetelo, o Numi: io mi confondo.
M'oppresse il colpo a segno,
Che il cor mancommi, e si smarrì l'ingegno.
Sperai vicino il lido,
Credei calmato il vento,
Ma trasportar mi sento
Fra le tempeste ancor.
E da uno scoglio infido
Mentre salvar mi voglio,
Urto in un altro scoglio
Del primo assai peggior.


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):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Mais que vous fit-elle, ô étoiles", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Garrett Medlock) , "But what did poor Dirce do to you, oh stars,", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

This text was added to the website: 2004-07-11
Line count: 16
Word count: 83

But what did poor Dirce do to you, oh stars,
Language: Italian (Italiano)  after the Italian (Italiano) 
But what did poor Dirce do to you, 
Oh stars, that you bring together so many
Misfortunes against her! You, who inspired
Chaste affection unto our souls; you
Who were present [with] the modest Hymen,
Defend him, oh Gods: I confound myself.
The blow burdens me __
Such that my heart expired, and lost its intelligence.
I hoped the shore [was] near,
I believed the wind [had] calmed,
But I feel myself carried
Among the storms again.
And while from a treacherous cliff
I want to save myself,
I [strike] another cliff,
Much worse than the first.


  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2019 by Garrett Medlock, (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: 2019-10-03
Line count: 16
Word count: 97