sometimes misattributed to Torquato Tasso (1544 - 1595) and by Guido Casoni (1561 - 1642)
Translation possibly by Edward Fairfax (1580 - 1635)

La bella Erminia, sconsolata amante
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
La bella Erminia, sconsolata amante,
sopra il caro Tancredi egra piangea,
et al bel volto suo, tutta tremante,
ape infelice, ad hor, ad hor scendea;
e da quel fior di sua beltà mancante
fiamme d'amor, gelo di duol suggea,
quando ne' chiusi lumi ov'ella visse
fermò lo sguardo e sospirando disse:

"Tancredi? ò sanguinoso ò lagrimato
mio bene, Erminia vivi e miri estinto
il tuo core, ii tuo sol vedi ecclissato 
nel ciel d'amor d'ombre notturne cinto?
Ahi bellezza languente, ò volto amato,
nel tuo pallor, nel mio dolor dipinto, 
fra le tue belle guancie afflitte e smorte
muore la vita mia con la tua morte.

"Amor privato di tuoi luci ardente
nel bel terreno de' tuoi lumi giace,
sepolta tiene la tua bocca algente
amorosa sua tomba oggi mia pace.
La tua morte bellezza il cor dolente 
aspreggiando lucenga offende e piace,
e s'ardo in vano, e se tu ghiaccio sei
nei ghiacci tuoi vivon gl'incendi miei.

"Piaghe che 'l sangue di versar soffriste,
caro nido de l'alme e degli amori,
mentre irrigate con purpuree liste
le sue gelide neve e i freddi avori, 
impiagate quest'alma onde poi miste
sian le ferite e gli ultimi dolori, 
e cosi unito al vostro sangue in tanto 
si spanda il sangue mio per gli occhi in pianto.

"Morte ch' a me ti tolse hor mi conceda
in difetto d'amor gli estremi baci, 
freddi e languidi baci infausta preda
di sfortunato amor larve fallaci. 
Cosi nei baci miei l'alma posseda
fra le tue labbra I'ultime sue paci, 
si ch'io morendo a la tua bocca unita, 
sol viva in te fin ch' i miei baci han vita."

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Authorship

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):


Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 40
Word count: 273

The fair Erminia, by love and sorrow led
Language: Italian (Italiano)  after the Italian (Italiano) 
The fair Erminia, by love and sorrow led,
over her dear Tancredi wept, and she,
all a-tremble, o'er his noble head 
bowed slowly, slowly, like a sorrowing bee; 
and from that flower of beauty whence had fled,
the flames of love, she sucked the ice of grief,
then fixed her gaze upon his shuttered eye,
dear as her life, and said with many a sigh: 

Tancredi? Bloodied, tear-stained, art thou here,
my love! Canst thou, Erminia bear the sight 
of thy heart stilled, thy sun that shone so clear
in skies of love eclipsed by shades of night?
Ah, as thy beauty fades, thy features dear 
are, like mine in my sorrow, painted white,
and as from thy fair cheek the purple-red 
has faded, so I feel my life, with yours, has fled. 

Love, who hath lost the sparkle of thine eyes,
now hides himself within thy lovely clay,
and there entombs thy lips, as cold as ice 
in that same grave where all my joy doth stay.
So beautiful art thou in thy demise,
that bitterness is lightened as I gaze, 
and though thou'rt icy now, and love is vain,
within your ice my love doth heat retain. 

O wounds that let the lifeblood scape the nest
wherein his spirit and our love did dwell,
while yet you flow in crimson rivulets
over this frozen snow and ivory shell, 
wound me too, ay, pierce me to the breast 
that we may share one pain, one death, one knell,
and thus united with your streams of blood, 
my springs of tears shall make a second flood. 

Since death hath love's just comfort ta'en away,
let me thy mouth, pale, cold and bloodless meet
with languid kisses, which tho' they're the prey
of doomed love, are no phantoms of deceit.
Thus, while my kisses dwell upon thee, may
my soul between thy lips find final peace,
expiring thus while thou'rt conjoined with me,
when kisses die, so die I too, with thee.

About the headline (FAQ)

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Based on

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

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 40
Word count: 331