Alma guidott' amar colei ch'ogn' hora lieta ridendo se ne và
con gioia del tuo languir' e noia.
Fiera stella se ne va con gioia
del tuo languir' e noia.
Ne sperar per mercede,
se non rara beltade, e poca fede.
Ma se tempo gia mai verrà
che sciolta vivi, non sia piu mai che te diletta
se non gridar vendett’amor, vendetta!
Translation by Mick Swithinbank
My heart is moved to love a woman who constantly goes away laughing,
mocking the affliction of my languishing heart.
A haughty star in the firmament, she goes away laughing and mocking me.
Do not hope for any reward
other than her rare beauty, with little commitment.
Yet if ever a time were to come when my heart was no longer in thrall to her,
let not the only thing it takes delight in
be to cry: 'Love shall be avenged!'
In 1588 there was published by Michael East and edited by Nicholas Yonge a collection of Italian madrigals with lyrics very loosely adapted into English. The collection included the first part of "Alma guidott' amar colei" and its translation read:
My heart, alas, why dost thou love,
Why dost thou love thine enemy
Thy mortal enemy,
Laughing so merely she goes
To see thy grief and sadness
Lasting pain no remedy,
Save most singular beauty
And little pity.