Poichè l'avida sete (Carlo Gesualdo)

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  • (Posted 2009-04-02)  CPDL #19149:      (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Daniel Harmer (submitted 2009-04-02).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 39 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Poiché l'avida sete
Composer: Carlo Gesualdo

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1611 in Madrigali a 5 voci, libro quinto, no. 17
Description: The second part is Ma tu, cagion di quella atroce pena, which is No. 18.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Poiché l'avida sete
c'hai del mio tristo e lagrimoso humóre
non è ancor spenta, o dispietato còre,
spéngala il sangue mio
c'hor verserà dal mio trafitto petto
un doloroso rio.

English.png English translation

Since the keen thirst
that you feel for my sad, tearful humour1
is not yet slaked, merciless lady,
let it be sated with my blood
which will issue forth from my pierced chest
in a melancholy stream.
Translation by Mick Swithinbank

1 This is presumably a reference both to the poet's mood and to the fluids - the four 'humours' - assumed under ancient physiological theories to exist within the human body and to affect temperament.