Welcome to La Trobe University Library
Bypass navigation and go to content

Library Home
By Text
By composer
By Genre
By Manuscript
Complete Manuscripts
By Liturgical Feast
By Text
By Melody
By Descriptor
Scribe Software
What's New

Medieval Music Database

Donne e fanciulle, chi ha gentil core

ballata by Paolo da Firenze


Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds italien 568, fol. 85v-86 (2/2).


1. Italian Secular Music, edited by W. Thomas Marrocco, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1978. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century XI, p. 65.
2. The Music of Fourteenth-Century Italy, edited by Nino Pirrotta and Ursula Günther, Rome: American Institute of Musicology. Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 8/VI. [forthcoming]

Text Editions

CORSI, Giuseppe. Poesie musicali del Trecento, Bologna: Commissione per i testi di lingua, 1970, p. 350.


GÜNTHER, Ursula. 'Die "anonymen" Kompositionen des Ms. Paris BN, fonds ital, 568 (Pit)', Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, XXIII (1966), p. 89.


Decameron: Ballate Monodiques de L'Ars Nova Florentine, Esther Lamandier (voice, portative organ, harp, vielle, lut (1980): Astrée AS 56 (FRA).


Donne e fanciulle, chi ha gentil core
pigli del tempo, seguitand'Amore.

Pigli del tempo ciascuna di voi
mentre che siete giovinette e belle.
per= che poco vale il penter, poi
c'han fatto il corso le chiarite stelle.
Pigliate essempro procurando a quelle
che per vechieza perdono 'l valore.

Quando F perduto el tempo disiato.
non F pi· doglia nT pi· greve affanno
che ricordarsi del felice stato.
quando amendar non si potrebbe el danno.
Molte son quelle che ricevon 'nganno
non conoscendo prima il lor signore.

Chi d'amor sente non si tenga vile.
per= che suo ragion vuol giovineza:
amor di donna e animo gentile
ne' be' costumi e la piacevoleza
vaga, benigna, adorna di belleza:
F questa donna che mi passa el core.


Women and girls, if your heart is gentle
take some time to go after Love.

Let each of you take some time
while you are young and beautiful
because it's no use to regret it
after the bright stars have completed their course.
Take example, with care, from those
who lose their worth through old age.

But when the age one yearns for is gone.
there is no greater sorrow or more grievous anguish
than to remember one's happy estate
when the damage can no longer be repaired.
Many are the women who suffer deceit.
not knowing their first lord.

Whoever experiences love should not hold himself worthless.
since youth needs to be given its due:
a woman's love, a kind disposition
in her becoming habits, and her lovely, kind
pleasantness, adorned with beauty:
such is the woman who pierces my heart.

Text revision and translation © Giovanni Carsaniga

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

Cantus Planus
Latin Dictionary