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Medieval Music Database

Se le n'ara pieta, Amor, ti prego

ballata by Paolo da Firenze


Paris: BibliothŤque Nationale, fonds italien 568, fol. 129v-130 (3/2).


1. Italian Secular Music, edited by W. Thomas Marrocco, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1978. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century XI, p. 128.
2. The Music of Fourteenth-Century Italy, edited by Nino Pirrotta and Ursula GŁnther, 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. 287.


1. SABBADINI, Remiglio. 'Frammenti di poesie volgari musicate', Giornale storico della letteratura italiana, XL (1902), p. 270.
2. HALLMARK, Anne. 'Some evidence for French influence in northern Italy, c.1400', Studies in the Performance of Late Mediaeval Music, edited by Stanley Boorman, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983, pp. 193-226.


Se le n'ara pieta, Amor, ti prego
di suo felice stato.
se non si fer' il suo cor s8 'ndurato.

Tu sai, Amor, con quanta liberta
seguita l'ho, serrato in tuo catena.
ed ella pur rifuge aver pieta.
nT cura te, ma di dureza F piena.
S'ella porgesse una sol picciol lena
al mi' cor s8 'nfiammato
pi· ch'altri mi terre' viver beato.


If she takes pity on me, or if her obdurate
heart, Love, is touched.
I pray you for her happiness.

You know, Love, that, shackled in your chains.
I followed her so freely;
and she yet refuses to take pity.
nor does she heed you, but is full of callousness.
Were she to offer only a small solace
to my passionate heart, mor than any other
I would believe myself to live in bliss.

Text revision and translation © Giovanni Carsaniga

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

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