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‘Hor che ’l ciel et la terra e ’l vento tace’  (parody text)

Source:  Ingegneri, 1572

‘Hor che ’l ciel et la terra e ’l vento tace,’
incominciò colei che l’aria molce
con angelici accenti, e in lingua dolce
rischiara Secchia con la tosca face.
Sentian gli spirti altrui beata pace;
tutto l’amar si trammutava in dolce.
E giva al ciel (che più l’alma soffolce)
mio cor, che via da lei morendo giace.
Che poi se i moti de suoi tersi avori,
de’ vaghi lumi e del leggiadro viso,
l’occhio vedea ch’or vana vista intrica;
che poi s’un dì mi spiega bei tesori,
o del nome Tiran degn’et nemica,
o qua giù cieli aperti, o paradiso.

‘Hor che ’l ciel e la terra e ’l vento tace,’
began she who soothes the air
with angelic accents, and in a sweet tongue
illuminates the Secchia with the Tuscan torch [i.e. the words of Petrarch].
The others’ souls felt a blessed peace;
all bitterness transformed into sweetness.
And my heart, which [now] parted from her lies dying, rose to Heaven (that comforts the soul still more).
What then, if the movements of her polished ivories,
of her beautiful eyes and charming face,
the eye could see, which is now snared by empty visions;
what then, if one day she reveals her beautiful treasures to me,
oh she who is worthy of the tyrant’s name
and foe,
oh the heavens opened to us below on earth, oh paradise.

The text describes Tarquinia Molza singing a setting of Petrarch's 'Hor che 'l ciel e 'l vento tace.  It probably records the performance by Tarquinia for Alfonso II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, at a feast in Modena in October 1568; it may be one of four sonnets commissioned by Alfonso from Giambattista Pigna to commemorate the occasion.

Written by Laurie Stras.

Last updated 04 October, 2002.

The views expressed on this page are those of the author and not of the University of Southampton.