Erano i capei d'oro

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General information

Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca; Translator: Anthony S. Kline

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Text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Erano i capei d'oro a l'aura sparsi
che 'n mille dolci nodi gli avolgea,
e l'vago lume oltra misura ardea
di quei begli occhi, ch'or ne son sí scarsi;

e 'l viso di pietosi color' farsi,
non so se vero o falso, mi parea:
i' che l'ésca amorosa al petto avea,
qual meraviglia se di súbito arsi?

Non era l'andar suo cosa mortale,
ma d'angelica forma; et le parole
sonavan altro, che pur voce humana.

Uno spirito celeste, un vivo sole
fu quel ch'i'vidi: et se non fosse or tale,
piagha per allentar d'arco non sana.

Canzoniere 90

English.png English translation

She let her gold hair scatter in the breeze
that twined it in a thousand sweet knots,
and wavering light, beyond measure, would burn
in those beautiful eyes, which are now so dim:

and it seemed to me her face wore the colour
of pity, I do not know whether false or true:
I who had the lure of love in my breast,
what wonder if I suddenly caught fire?

Her way of moving was no mortal thing,
but of angelic form: and her speech
rang higher than a mere human voice.

A celestial spirit, a living sun
was what I saw: and if she is not such now,
the wound's not healed, although the bow is slack.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline ©

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