by Torquato Tasso (1544 - 1595)
Translation by Edward Fairfax (d. 1635)

Giunta alla tomba
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Giunto a la tomba, ove al suo spirto vivo
dolorosa prigione il Ciel prescrisse,
pallido, freddo, muto, e quasi privo
di movimento, al marmo gli occhi affisse.
Al fin, sgorgando un lagrimoso rivo,
in un languido: "oimè!" proruppe, e disse:
"O sasso amato ed onorato tanto,
che dentro hai le mie fiamme e fuori il pianto,

non di morte sei tu, ma di vivaci
ceneri albergo, ove è riposto Amore;
e ben sento io da te l'usate faci,
men dolci sí, ma non men calde al core.
Deh! prendi i miei sospiri, e questi baci
prendi ch'io bagno di doglioso umore;
e dalli tu, poi ch'io non posso, almeno
a le amate reliquie c'hai nel seno.

Dalli lor tu, ché se mai gli occhi gira
l'anima bella a le sue belle spoglie,
tua pietate e mio ardir non avrà in ira,
ch'odio o sdegno là su non si raccoglie.
Perdona ella il mio fallo, e sol respira
in questa speme il cor fra tante doglie.
Sa ch'empia è sol la mano; e non l'è noia
che, s'amando lei vissi, amando moia.

Ed amando morrò: felice giorno,
quando che sia; ma piú felice molto
se come errando or vado a te d'intorno,
allor sarò dentro al tuo grembo accolto.
Faccian l'anime amiche in Ciel soggiorno,
sia l'un cenere e l'altro in un sepolto;
ciò che 'l viver non ebbe, abbia la morte.
Oh se sperar ciò lice, altera sorte!"

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):

  • ENG English (Edward Fairfax) , title 1: "Before her new-made tomb"
  • FRE French (Français) (Albin-Barthélémy-Fleury de L'Horme) , title 1: "Loin qu'il cache la mort", 1832
  • FRE French (Français) (Auguste Desplaces) , title 1: "Arrivé près de cette tombe", 1842


Researcher for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 32
Word count: 238

Before her new‑made tomb
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
Before her new-made tomb at last arrived,
The woeful prison of his living spright, 
Pale, cold, sad, comfortless, of sense deprived,
Upon the marble grey he fix'd his sight; 
Two streams of tears were from his eyes derived:
Thus, with a sad alas, began the knight:- 
Oh, marble dear! on my dear mistress plac'd.
My flames within, without my tears thou hast. 

Not of dead bones art thou the mournful grave,
But of quick love the fortress and the hold;
Still in my heart thy wonted brand I have,
More bitter far, alas! but not more cold. 
Receive these sighs, these kisses sweet receive,
In liquid drops of melting tears enroll'd, 
And give them to that body pure and chaste
Which in thy bosom cold entomb'd thou bast. 

For if her happy soul her eye doth bend 
On that sweet body which it lately dress'd,
My love, thy pity, cannot her offend, 
Anger and wrath is not in angels bless'd; 
She pardon will the trespass of her friend; 
That hope relieves me with these griefs oppress'd.
This hand she knows hath only sinn'd, not I
Who living lov'd her, and for love now die.

And loving will I die; O happy day 
Whene'er it chanceth! but O far more blest,
lf as about thy polished sides I stray, 
My bones within thy hollow grave might rest;
Together should in heav'n our spirits stay,
Together should our bodies lie in chest; 
So happy death should join what life doth sever:
O death! O life! sweet both, both blessed ever.

Authorship

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)

    [ None yet in the database ]


Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 32
Word count: 258