Ragion'è ben ch'alcuna volta (Jacquet de Berchem)

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  • (Posted 2018-11-22)  CPDL #52306:   
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2018-11-22).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 178 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2010-06-14)  CPDL #21782:        (Sibelius 7)
Editor: Walker Boyle (submitted 2010-06-14).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 105 kB   Copyright: Creative Commons Zero
Edition notes: Updated to v. 2.0 in May 2014. Transcribed from 1539 Gardane edition of Jacques Arcadelt's "Il primo libro de' madrigali a 4 voci."

General Information

Title: Ragion' è ben ch'alcuna volta
Composer: Jacquet de Berchem
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1539 in Il primo libro de' madrigali a 4 voci, no. 1.04

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Ragion è ben ch'alcuna volta io canti,
però ch' ò sospirate sì gran tempo;
che mai non incomincio assai per tempo
per adequar col riso i dolor tanti.

Et s'io potesse far ch' agli occhi santi
porgesse alcun diletto qualche dolce mio detto,
o me beato sopra gli altri amanti!
Ma più quand' io dirò senza mentire:
"Donna mi prega, per ch'io voglio dire."

Canzoniere 70, stanza 2
English.png English translation

It is just that at some time I sing,
since I have sighed for so long a time;
that I shall never begin soon enough
to make my smiling equal so many sorrows.

And if I could make some sweet saying of mine
give delight to those holy eyes,
oh me blessed above other lovers!
But most when I can say without lying:
"A lady begs me; therefore I wish to speak."