by Giovanni Battista Guarini (1538 - 1612)

Chi vuol aver felice e lieto il core
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
[Chi vuol aver]1 felice e lieto il core,
non segua il crudo Amore,
quel lusinghier che ancide,
quando più scherza e ride; 
ma tema di beltà, di leggiadria
l'aura fallace e ria. 
Al pregar non risponda, alla promessa
non creda: e se s'appressa, 
fugga pur, che baleno è quel ch'alletta;
né mai balena Amor, se non saetta.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Monteverdi: "Chi vol haver"


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):

  • ENG English (unknown or anonymous translator) , "If you wish your heart to be happy and gay"
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 10
Word count: 57

If you wish your heart to be happy and gay
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
If you wish your heart to be happy and gay,
do not pursue cruel Love,
which seduces and then kills you
even as it jokes and laughs.
Watch out, and fear instead
the evil, deceptive appearance of beauty and good looks.
Don't listen to Love's prayers or promises:
don't believe them. And if it approaches you,
run away; it's just an enticing, fleeting flash.
Love never flashes without piercing you with its arrows.

Note: the translators, who wish to remain anonymous, have indicated that this is to be regarded as a public-domain translation.


Based on


This text was added to the website: 2010-04-09
Line count: 10
Word count: 73