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

Ohimè! se tanto amate
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Ohimé, se tanto amate 
di sentir dir Ohimè, deh perché fate
chi dice Ohimè morire?
S'io moro un sol potrete 
languido, e doloroso Ohimè sentire;
Ma se, cor mio, [vorrete]1
che vita [habb'io]2 da voi, e voi da me,
avrete mille e mille dolci Ohimè.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Monteverdi: "volete"
2 Monteverdi: "abbia"


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 (Barbara Miller) , "Alas, if you love so much", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Hélas ! si vous aimez tant", copyright © 2013, (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: 8
Word count: 45

Hélas ! si vous aimez tant
Language: French (Français)  after the Italian (Italiano) 
Hélas ! si vous aimez tant
entendre « Hélas », alors pourquoi faire
que celui qui dit « hélas » meure ?
Si je meurs vous pouvez seulement
entendre un languide et douloureux « hélas » ;
mais si , mon cœur, vous voulez
que j'ai la vie de vous, et vous de moi,
vous aurez mille et mille doux « hélas ».


  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to French (Français) copyright © 2013 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: 2013-02-28
Line count: 8
Word count: 63