by Giovanni Battista Guarini (1538 - 1612)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

O come se' gentile
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE GER
O come [se']1 gentile,
caro augellino! O quanto
è il mio stato amoroso al tuo simìle!
[Tu prigion, io prigion]2; tu canti, io canto;
tu canti per colei
che t'ha legato, ed io canto per lei.
Ma in questo è differente
la mia sorte dolente:
che giova pur a te l'esser canoro;
vivi cantando, ed io cantando moro.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Monteverdi: "sei"
2 Monteverdi: "Io prigion, tu prigion"


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 English, adapted by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist , no title FRE GER ; composed by John Danyel.

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

  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) , "Oh, how gentle you are", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Wie sanft du bist", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-03-26
Line count: 10
Word count: 58

Oh, comme tu es aimable
Language: French (Français)  after the Italian (Italiano) 
Oh, comme tu es aimable,
cher petit oiseau ! Oh comme
mon état d'amoureux ressemble au tien !
Tu es prisonnier, je suis prisonnier ; tu chantes, je chante ;
tu chantes pour celle
qui t'a lié à elle, et je chante pour elle.
Mais il y a une différence
dans mon sort douloureux :
Ça t'est bénéfique de chanter,
tu vis en chantant, je meurs en chantant.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Avventuroso augello" = "L'oiseau heureux"
"O come sei gentile, caro augellino" = "Oh, comme tu es aimable, cher petit oiseau"


  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to French (Français) copyright © 2019 by Guy Laffaille, (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: 2019-02-07
Line count: 10
Word count: 68