by Giovanni Fantoni (1755 - 1807)
Translation © by Michael Berridge

Alla cetra
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Eco [de'miei]1 lamenti,
Cetra fedel, che tenti?
Spiegare il mio dolore
Non può lo stesso amore.

Flebil tu cedi invano
All'ingegnosa mano,
Querele imiti e pianti
Con le corde tremanti.

Rispondi a'miei sospiri
Con replicati giri;
Ma quei, che rende il suono
I miei sospir non sono.

[Fille l'amato]2 bene
Lungi è da [queste arene]3;
Spiegare il mio dolore
Non puó lo stesso Amore.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Poesie di Giovanni Fantoni toscano fra gli Arcadi Labindo, Pisa, 1800, page 188.

1 Glinka: "di miei"
2 Glinka: "Fini amato"
3 Glinka: "questa sirene"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG ; composed by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Michael Berridge) , "To the lyre", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-02
Line count: 16
Word count: 64

To the lyre
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
Echo of my laments,
faithful lyre, what are you attempting?
Explaining my suffering
is beyond the power of  love itself.

Dolefully you yield in vain
to the practised hand
imitating plaints and sobs
with your trembling strings.

You respond to my sighs
with elaborate turns,
but as a bringer of sleep
my sighs will not serve.

Forget the loved one,
great is the distance from this siren,
explaining my suffering
is beyond the power of love itself.

Note: this is a translation of Glinka's version.


  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to English copyright © 2017 by Michael Berridge, (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: 2017-11-08
Line count: 16
Word count: 77