Passa la nave mia colma d'oblio (Pietro Vinci)

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  • (Posted 2020-09-13)  CPDL #60530:        (LilyPond)
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2020-09-13).   Score information: Letter, 10 pages, 150 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Passa la nave mia colma d'oblio
Composer: Pietro Vinci
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SATTBB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1571 in Il primo libro de madrigali a 6 voci (Venice: Girolamo Scotto press), no. 1

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Passa la nave mia colma d’oblio
per aspro mare, a mezza notte il verno,
enfra Scilla et Caribdi; et al governo
siede ’l signore, anzi ’l nimico mio.

A ciascun remo un penser pronto et rio
che la tempesta e ’l fin par ch’abbi a scherno;
la vela rompe un vento humido eterno
di sospir’, di speranze, et di desio.

Pioggia di lagrimar, nebbia di sdegni
bagna et rallenta le già stanche sarte,
che son d’error con ignorantia attorto.

Celansi i duo mei dolci usati segni;
morta fra l’onde è la ragion et l’arte,
tal ch’incomincio a desperar del porto.

English.png English translation

My ship, full of oblivion, sails
on a bitter sea, at winter's midnight,
between Scylla and Charybdis: at the helm
sits that Lord, or rather my enemy.

At each oar there's a cruel eager thought,
that scorns the tempest and its end:
the sail's torn by an eternal moist wind
of sighs, of hopes, and of desire.

A rain of tears, a mist of disdain
drench and slacken the already tired shrouds,
woven from error and ignorance.

My two usual guiding lights are so hidden:
reason and art so drowned by the waves,
that I begin to despair of finding harbour.
Translation by A.S. Kline (c) 2004, non-commercial use only