I' piansi, or canto (Philippe de Monte)

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  • (Posted 2015-02-05)  CPDL #34482:        (Finale 2004)
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2015-02-05).   Score information: Letter, 6 pages, 440 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: I' piansi, or canto
Composer: Philippe de Monte
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1570 in Il terzo libro de madrigali a cinque voci, no. 18
Description: Sonnet 230

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

I' piansi, or canto, ché 'l celeste lume
quel vivo sole alli occhi miei non cela,
nel qual honesto Amor chiaro revela
sua dolce forza et suo santo costume;

onde e' suol trar di lagrime tal fiume,
per accorciar del mio viver la tela,
che non pur ponte o guado o remi o vela,
ma scampar non potienmi ale né piume.

Sí profondo era et di sí larga vena
il pianger mio et sí lunge la riva,
ch'i' v'aggiungeva col penser a pena.

Non lauro o palma, ma tranquilla oliva
Pietà mi manda, e 'l tempo rasserena,
e 'l pianto asciuga, et vuol anchor ch'i' viva.

Canzoniere 230
English.png English translation

I wept, now I sing, that the celestial light
no longer hides the living sun from my eyes,
where chaste clear Love reveals
his sweet strength and his sacred custom:

from them he drew such floods of tears,
in shortening the thread of my life,
not only bridges, fords, oars, sails,
failed to rescue me, but feathered wings.

My tears were so deep and wide,
and the shore was so far away,
I could not reach it, even in fancy.

Now Pity brings me not the palm, or laurel,
but the peaceful olive and clear weather,
dries my tears, and wishes me still to live.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline ©