Ver' infern' e'l mio petto (Jacques Arcadelt)

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  • (Posted 2018-11-13)  CPDL #51848:   
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2018-11-13).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 83 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Parts available at
  • (Posted 2010-06-13)  CPDL #21774:        (Finale 2010)
Editor: Walker Boyle (submitted 2010-06-13).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 81 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Transcribed from the 1581 Gardane edition of "Il primo libro de' madrigali a 4 voci." Musica ficta applied to cadences - all sharps added by the editor. Note-values halved.

General Information

Title: Ver' infern' e'l mio petto
Composer: Jacques Arcadelt
Lyricist: Lorenzino de Medicicreate page or Francesco Berni

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. 1.59

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Ver'infern'è'l mio petto,
ver'infernale spirito son'io,
e ver'infernal foco è'l foco mio.
Senza fin'ardo e son di speme privo
e dell'amat'obietto.
Eternamente l'alma vist'ho persa,
et ostinato in una voglia vivo.
Sol di tant'è diversa
la sorte mia dalla perduta gente,
ch'a ragion quella, et io ardo innocente;
maladice sovente
et odia quella il suo fattor'Iddío,
et io chi m'arde laud'amo' e desio.

English.png English translation

True hell is my breast
and a true hellish soul am I,
and true hellish fire is my fire.
I burn endlessly and I'm deprived of hope
and of the object of my love.
I have forever lost my soul,
and live obsessed by one desire only.
Nonetheless, immensely different
is my destiny from that of those lost souls,
in that they rightly burn, whereas I do so as an innocent;
that throng curses often
and hates God, its maker,
whereas I praise, love and desire [she] who causes me to burn.

Translation by Campelli