Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music, volume 9 (2003) no. 1
ISSN: 1089-747X

Margaret Murata
“Singing,” “Acting,” and “Dancing” in Vocal Chamber Music of the Early Seicento

Text 3
“Se tu parti da me, Fillide amata” from Jacopo Peri, Le varie musiche ... a una due, e tre voci (Florence: Cristofano Marescotti, 1609; reprint, Performer’s Facsimiles 235, New York: [Broude], n.d.), pp.21–[23]; ed. Tim Carter as “Le varie musiche” and Other Songs, Recent Researches in the Music of the Baroque Era 50 (Madison: A-R Editions, 1985), xx–xxi (text, translation, notes), 28–32 (score). Carter attributes the text to Michelangelo Buonarroti, the younger, following I-Fl Archivio Buonarroti, MS 84. Words in bold are discussed in the essay.

[1] Se tu parti da me, Fillide amata,
se privi gl’occhi miei del tuo splendore,
se ‘n sul fiorir il mio sperar s’adombra,
ben sarai tu spietata,
ben misero ’l mio core,
ben tosto me vedrai cenere et ombra:
            Ché di tenebre ingombra
            già sembra dal mio sen girsene a volo
            l’anima afflitta, ché mi vince ’l duolo.

[2] Ma se resti al mio ben, al mio contento,
se sovra i fior’ de’ miei caldi desiri
dolce di tuo pietà rugiada versi,
felice quel tormento,
felici quei martiri,
felice ’l duol ch’amando te soffersi:
            Il cor ch’io già t’apersi
            non può tener a fren l’errante vita,
            se fai da lei, se fai da me partita.

[3] Chi più cara t’havrà, chi tanto t’ama?
Chi t’accorrà nel sen con tal dolcezza?
Chi ti servirà mai con maggior fede?
Mio cor sempre ti brama.
Mio amor te solo apprezza.
Altro mia fè non cura, altro non chiede:
            Ferma, deh, Filli, ’l piede!
            Ferma, deh, non partir, ch’altrove amante
            Qual me non troverai fido e costante.

[1] If, beloved Phyllis, you should leave me,
and take the splendor of your self from my sight
so all my flow’ring hopes in darkness fade,
truly would you deceive me
and fill my heart with your spite;
truly soon would I become just ash and shade:
            For by shadows waylaid,
            my troubled soul already seems to spin
            within my breast, letting pain and sorrow win.

[2] But if you stay my beloved and delight,
if over the blooms of my hot desires
so sweetly you pour your mercy, like dew—
how happy would be my plight,
how happy the tortuous fires,
how happy the grief one suffers, loving you:
            exposed and open to view,
            you would see my weak and unruly heart
            fail, if from it or from me you did depart.

[3] Who will care for you more or love you so much?
Who will run with such sweetness to your embrace?
Who ever with more faithfulness will serve you?
My heart wants only your touch.
My love seeks only your grace.
Naught else do I seek, but to deserve you:
            Halt your step, Phyllis, oh halt!
            Leave not, for other than me you will not find
            a lover more constant or without fault.

[Music score in example 5.]

Return to: Paragraph 5.1.