Se pur destina (Claudio Monteverdi)

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  • CPDL #33104:     
Editor: Peter Rottländer (submitted 2014-10-08).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 135 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Basso Continuo:   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 47 kB   
Edition notes:
  • CPDL #19428:       
Editor: Björn Sothmann (submitted 2009-05-06).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 532 kB   Copyright: CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Se pur destina
Composer: Claudio Monteverdi
Lyricist: Anonymous

Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: S
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: Basso continuo

First published: 1619 in Concerto: settimo libro de madrigali (Claudio Monteverdi), no. 26

Description:

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Se pur destina e vuole
il cielo, almo mio sole,
che in tenebre mi viva.
Ascolta, alma mia diva,
ciò che potrà ridire
fra cotanto martire
di sconsolato amante
lingua fredda e tremante.
O del cor luce e speme,
odi le voci estreme:
odile, e dal bel seno
una lagrima almeno
bagni la viva neve.
Rimira ah, come lieve
per l’eterno cammino
s’affretta, e già vicino
splende l’infausto giorno
che dal bel ciglio adorno
mi condurrà lontano.
Deh, con più lenta mano
sferza i destrieri ardenti,
Febo, se a’ tuoi lamenti
trecce dorate e bionde
tornin l’amate fronde.
O pensier vani e folli!
Che spero, ohimè, che volli?
Già dibattendo l’ale
giunge l’ora fatale
dell’aspra dipartita,
vita de la mia vita!
A te non dico addio
ché se l’alma e’l cor mio,
se lascio ogni mio bene
e con la cara spene
resta ogni bel desìo,
a me vo’ dire addio:
a me, che triste e solo,
preda d’immortal duolo,
da me medesmo, lasso,
volgo, partendo, il passo.
Lumi, voi che vedeste
della beltà celeste,
allor ch’arsi e gelai,
splender sì vaghi i rai,
a voi, tremante e muto,
a voi dimando aiuto;
ridite, occhi, ridite
con lagrime infinite,
ridite innanzi a lei
gli affanni acerbi e rei,
ch’io non saprei ridire
di cotanto martire
neppur minima parte:
solo dirò che par te
il più leale amante
che mai fermasse piante
nell’amoroso regno;
che di laccio il più degno
incatenato visse
di quanti unqua n’ordisse
Amor per altra etade;
che per casta beltade
temprò sì bei lamenti
che’l mar, la terra e i venti
ne sospiraro, e’l cielo
di lagrimoso velo,
pietoso a’ suoi sospiri,
sparse gli almi zaffiri;
e potrei dir ancora
ch’unqua non vide Aurora
specchiarsi in mar sì bella
nè l’amorosa stella
se non oscura e vile,
dopo l’ardor gentile
delle stellanti ciglia,
immortal meraviglia
in cui mirando, a volo
varco le nubi e il polo.
Ma deh, luci serene,
de le mie care pene
dolcissimo conforto,
chi scorgerammi in porto
per questo mar insano,
se da voi m’allontano?
Ahi che la mia stanca nave
rimiro, e’l cor ne pave,
fra turbini e tempeste,
e del nume celeste
invan sospiro i rai,
stelle che tanto amai!
Ma qual timor mi punge?
Ove n’andrò sì lunge
ch’io perda il dolce lume?
Qual monte mai, qual fiume,
qual mar farammi eclissi
che nel mio sol non fissi
il cor, l’alma e i pensieri,
se di quei raggi altieri
per entro il cor profondo
la luce e’l cor ascondo?
Partirà ben il piede;
Amor, prestami fede:
per te l’alma mia diva
partirà sì, ma schiva
de la gravosa salma
farà volando l’alma,
dolcissimo soggiorno,
al suo bel ciel ritorno.

English.png English translation

If the heavens decree and wish
it so, dearly beloved sun,
that I should live in shadows,
hear, dearly beloved goddess,
what, in such torment,
the cold and burning tongue
of a forlorn lover
can tell you.
Oh, you, heart of light and hope,
hear the wretched voices:
hear them, and let just
one tear from your lovely breast
fall on the naked snow.
Watch it, how lightly
it rushes down the immortal path,
and how, now closer,
shines the dreadful day
that I would be withdrawn so entirely
from my loved one’s eyes.
Ah, with what slow hands
you drive your ardent steeds,
Phoebus, would on hearing your thunder
the fair and golden plaits
turn into cherished fronds.
Oh vain and foolish thoughts!
What do I expect, ah, what did I want?
Now beating my wing
the fatal hour arrives
of my bitter departure,
life of my life!
I shall not say farewell to you,
would that I could abandon everything,
my soul and my heart,
and with the dearest hope
that all my precious desires remain,
I wish to say farewell to me:
to me, sad and alone,
prisoner of everlasting woe,
and grown weary of myself,
I return, my footsteps leaving.
Lights, witnesses
of heavenly beauty
of the lovely rays,
while I burned and froze,
of you, shivering and silent,
of you, I beg your aid:
count, eyes, count,
with infinite tears,
count over and over again
the harsh woes that seize me,
for I know not how to count
of such ordeals
even a tiny portion:
All I shall say is that
the most faithful of lovers departs,
who cultivated the amorous garden
more than any man;
who chained did live
in the most noble relations
that were ever devised by
Love in all ages;
who for chaste beauty did
temper the most comely laments
that were ever exhaled
by sea, by land, and by the winds,
or by the heavens with its veil of tears,
roused by his sighs,
dispersed among dear zephyrs;
and I could add
that never, neither Dawn
nor the amorous star
though not dark or vile,
saw reflected in such a lovely sea,
after the gentle ardour
of sparkling eyes,
such an everlasting wonder
and in whose eyes, I fly
cleaving the clouds and the pole.
But, ah, serene lights,
of my dear woes,
the sweet comfort,
who will take me to port
across this insane sea
if I stray from you?
Ah, I observe my weary vessel
and my soul shudders,
amongst whirlwinds and tempests,
of the divine heaven
I plead to the lightening in vain,
stars that I so dearly loved!
Yet, what fear smites me?
How far can I go
without losing the sweet light?
How shall mountain,
river or sea, prevent me
from sealing in my sun
the heart, the soul and the mind,
if from those proud rays
in my deepest heart
I conceal the light and the heart?
I shall depart with courage;
Love, lend me faith:
for you my divine soul
shall depart, yes, but eluding
the heavy body
shall come back flying,
sweet sojourn,
to your lovely firmament.