Le tre Grazie di Venere - Barbara Strozzi
(1619 - c.1665)
Beautiful Mother of Love, do you no longer remember, that but
for your beauty, you stood naked on the Trojan shore before
the shepherd judge Paris?
If naked you pleased the uncouth shepherds,
vain one, why do you cover yourself with adornments and hide
before your lovers?
Either dress your Graces and naked Cherubs,
or throw off your armour, cloaks and veils.
Let nothing be hidden!
You smile and don't answer.
Ah, you cover and hide yourself for you know
that concealed beauty is more alluring.
I' mi son giovinetta - Luzzasco Luzzaschi
"I am a young girl, and I laugh and sing to the new season."
Thus sang my lovely shepherdess, when my heart suddenly
spread its wings like a bird, all lightness and laughter.
It sang this way:
"I am also a young man,
and I rejoice and sing to the more beautiful
spring of Love that blossoms in her eyes", and she said:
"Fly if you are wise, the passion in the beams of this spring
will never be for you!"
Non sa che sia dolore - Luzzaschi
He knows nothing of pain
who leaves his life without dying.
Dear lovely eyes, beloved face
which Love gave to me too late,
and destiny has so hastily taken from me today.
To live far from you? I am so close to the fatal end of my life,
that if I return living to you, I return immortal.
Il Ciarlatano Giocomo Carissimi (1605 - 1674)
Since Scorn heard that Love (that God
of deceptions) had many forms,
he decided to do even more damage.
Being also shrewd, clever, not tired of competing
and a master of foolishness,
Scorn became a charlatan.
And right here, he is surrounded by a large circle of lovers,
and with distinct speech he boasts:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Scorn.
I am he who cures the infatuation of passionate lovers.
Now, now, come forward and I will restore you immediately.
Gentlemen, my remedy works without hurting others' hearts.
It renews the soul but with very worthwhile changes."
"Now, if by some unfortunate hand of fate, you find yourself
to death due to having sampled the joys of a thousand of Love's
poisoned deceptions, then take my tonic. And if you're not cured
in an instant, consider me a scoundrel!
The price I ask is not 100 pounds, not 50, not 20 and not even 40.
Listen carefully. I only want a sixpence.
And with that dear friends, we'll have a song."
Lovers, what are you doing?
Come, run, run, come,
if you really want to heal your wounds
and sorrows. Lovers, run!
Scorn will give you the perfect remedy
that heals your suffering heart.
But, if you don't want it,
then my efforts are in vain.
Only those who want a cure, will get one.
"Stand back dark souls, fools and wicked hearted and loathsome
folk, and draw nearer you wandering and generous spirits-
don't stay near the fire.
The first to try it will see that I am honourable, truthful and
"Ladies and gentlemen, I declare, the time will come when I
won't be around, and then you'll want me. So stock up quickly, for
the fierce scorching heart of Love, knows no gender or age."
How many lovers there are who don't believe it.
Yes, they're all mad.
When the cure is no longer available,
they want it.
Then languishing, praying, crying, they seek assistance in vain!
"Those who really want to be free, then with courteous timing
please withdraw. Be warned. Don't be fooled by Love, that son of
a jealous witch, who bangs on like a hammer claiming this cure and
that, and makes you worse than before. Only I sell the true, the
good, the exquisite cure."
"Lovers, now accept me; here is my secret,
I offer it as a gift, but if you don't want it, I can't force it
But when you're between spasms of madness, anguish, languor and
agony, you won't find a cure for your pain.
It is brought upon yourself and not by others."
You won't see cruel women languishing,
suffering and dying for you. Why? Because Scorn has cured them.
Did you think that Love's misfortunes would never end?
Long live Scorn and follow his virtues
Pastoral chorus, Euridice (1600), Jacopo Peri,
"Go happily, Euridice: while we wait for Orpheus' arrival,
we'll pass the time in song."
Refrain: To song, to dance, to shade, to the adorned meadows.
To the beautiful waves , shepherds hasten, singing sweetly on
such a blessed day.
"Goddess of the woods and woodland nymphs,
Satyrs and sylvans, ;eave your dogs and come to the
sounds of running streams".
"Beautiful Mother of Love, from your heights descend to
your delights, and with the beautiful cupids, cleave the
clouds with your golden wings."
"Pure Corrin of milk and rivers, distilling sweetness and
making manna from wild river cane. And you celestial Gods, pouring
Qui si puo dire (1628) Francesca Caccini
(1587 - c.1640)
Let it be said, that joy is love bound by faith.
By sunset, this pair of lovers will be seen as one.
Omnipotent Alcina, our Queen, has triumphed in love.
These plants are her lovers, bound with a thousand knots.
Gentle Ruggiero, warrior of love, savour this moment,
your hours in love's service shall soon be over.
Aure volanti (1628) F.Caccini
Meandering breezes, melodious birds, trickling fountains and
amourous trysts, make the sun shinier and the day more sensual.
Frosted caverns, fiery sunshine, verdurous meadows, lilies and
violets, make the sun more luminous and the day more lustrous.
O bei pensieri (1628) F.Caccini
O beautiful thoughts fly!
Fly to the beauties who inspire Heaven with love.
Life decks itself with flowers rambling through little grasses and
waits for no-one.
Ready desires, run, run
Speak of how joyfully they would come singing,
Life would wander amongst such sweet harmonies.
Cupid's wishes, laugh, laugh
So many hours of pleasures does he return.
Life sojourns amongst the solitary plants,
like happy lovers.
Chorus of Venus, Amore and Cupids, L'Incoronazione di Poppea
Claudio Monteverdi, (1567-1643)
Let us descend companions,
Let us fly to the betrothed lovers.
Our flight is resplendent like the highest Gods.
From the North Pole one blazes and
radiates more than life itself.
The consuls and tribunes, Poppea, have crowned you empress,
reigning over all of Rome's dominions.
Now Love crowns you, happy woman, over all of
Earth's beauties, you are the empress.
Mother of Love, in heaven you are like Poppea
Make her Venus on Earth.
I am satisfied, o cupid, of how much you are owed.
I grant to Poppea, the title of goddess.
Now let's sing joyously and excessively, on Earth and in Heaven.
And in each zone and region reverberates the cries:
Poppea and Nerone.
Ah qu'il fait beau, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (1670),
Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687)
Ah! It's fine in these groves.
Ah! The sky heralds a beautiful day.
The nightingales in the tender foliage
sing of their return to the echoes.
This beautiful sojourn invites love.
See Climene (a mythical nymph), see under this oak,
the birds lovingly kiss each other
In their vows, there is no coyness about their sweet fire,
their souls are complete.
You too will find happiness, if you will be like them.
Piu non ti voglio credere, Dalinda
Mario Fuggitivo (1708) Giovanni Bononcini
No longer will I believe,
that with cold ice
you want to extinguish my fire;
But my ardour, while I conceal it,
will decrease your coldness
And you will surrender to my beautiful fire.
Lascia ch'io pianga, Almirena
Rinaldo (1710) G.F. Handel (1685-1759)
Leave me alone to weep for my cruel fate,
and to hope for my liberty.
Sorrow crushes these bonds, for my torture , have pity.
Prendi, prendi da questa mano
Ariodante (1735) G.F. Handel
I will love you always my idol.
Constant soul, I also will love you always.
You are the sovereign, I, the vassal!
Ariodante, by the gods' grace, there is no better sovereign than
your loving soul; He isn't a servant who has the
command of my heart.
Somewhat astonished, I still can not believe it.
Then here is my right hand, as a symbol that I give you my heart.
Take this hand as a pledge of my fidelity.
I take your hand as the prize for my fidelity.
Should Fate test me with inhuman barbarity
Your beautiful ardour will never extinguish in me.
On s'etonerait moins, Armide (1777)
Christoph Willibald Gluck, (1714-1787)
One would be less astonished that the new season
returned without bringing the flowers and the zephyrs,
the most beautiful days of our lives, without love
and without pleasures.
Let us leave behind tender love, youth shares in it;
wisdom has his time, it comes only too early:
It is not wise, to be wiser than necessary.
Prendero quell brunettino, Cosi fan tutte (1790),
W.A.Mozart, (1756 - 1791)
I choose the brownhaired one, who seems more fun.
And meanwhile, I'll take the blonde for a laugh.
Playfully I'll answer his sweet words.
Sighing, I'll imitate his sighs.
He'll say to me: My love, I'm dying!
He'll say to me: My dearest treasure!
And meanwhile what fun and games I'll have.
Ritorni omai nel nostro core
Guilio Cesare (1724) Handel
Let there return henceforth to our hearts
joy and pleasure;
Swept away is every sign of sorrow
and each one now rejoices.
Cleopatra & Cesare:
A great joy will fill my breast,
if you will be constant every hour to me.
Thus bitter grief will leave my heart
And only love, constancy and fidelity remain.