I' vo piangendo i miei passati tempi

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Author: Francesco Petrarca in Il Canzoniere. 365

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Text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

I' vo piangendo i miei passati tempi
i quai posi in amar cosa mortale,
senza levarmi a volo, abbiend'io l'ale,
per dar forse di me non bassi esempi.

Tu che vedi i miei mali indegni et empi,
Re del cielo invisibile immortale,
soccorri a l'alma disviata e frale,
e 'l suo defecto di tua gratia adempi.

Sì che, s'io vissi in guerra e in tempesta,
Mora in pace e in porto; e se la stanza,
Fu vana, almen sia la partita onesta.

A quel poco di viver che m'avanza
E al morir, degni esser tua man presta:
Tu sai ben che in altrui non ò speranza.

Canzoniere 365
English.png English translation

I go lamenting my past times,
which I spent in loving something mortal
without rising to flight, though I have wings,
to make of myself perhaps not a base example.

You who see my evils, unworthy and impious,
king of heaven, invisible, immortal,
give aid to the soul, wandering and frail,
and its defect, by your grace, correct.

So that if I lived in war and in storm,
I may die in peace and in port, and if the sojourn
was vain, at least the departure may be honorable.

For that short time of living left to me,
and to be worthy of dying, lend your hand;
you know well that I have no other hope.

Alternative English translation

I go weeping for my time past,
that I spent in loving something mortal,
without lifting myself in flight, for I had wings
that might have freed me for spaces not so low.

You who see my shameful and impious sins,
King of Heaven, invisible, immortal,
help this frail and straying soul,
and mend its defects through your grace.

So that, if I have lived in war and tempest,
I may die in peaceful harbour: and if my stay
was vain, let my vanishing, at least, be virtuous.

Deign that your hand might rest on that little life
that is left to me, and on my death:
You truly know I have no other hope.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline
German.png German translation

Ich geh‘ und weine den vergangnen Tagen,
Die ich verbracht, hangend an ird‘schen Dingen,
Nicht strebend auf im Flug, obwohl ich Schwingen,
vielleicht zu schönem Beispiel, konnte schlagen.

Du kannst mein schweres, unverdientes Plagen,
Unsichtbar-ew‘ger Himmelsfürst, durchdringen;
Komm, Schutz dem irren, schwachen Geist zu bringen,
Und gnädig, was ihm fehlt, zu übertragen!

Daß, wenn im Leben Krieg und Sturm ich sahe,
Ich friedlich sterb‘ im Port, und war mein Stehen
Eitel, ich schönen Hingang doch empfahe.

Den wenig Tagen, so mir noch ersehen,
Sei deine Hand, und meinem Tode, nahe!
Du weißt, auf dich nur will mein Hoffen stehen.
 Karl Förster (1819)

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