Monteverdi's Fourth Book of Madrigals
English Translations 
 
 
Behind your lover’s lips there waits an adder;
each word of hers is poison to your soul.
Within your darling’s face there lies a winter,
for when you come to her, her eyes are cold.
Forgive, my love, the words and eyes that hurt,
for though she acts as if your enemy,
inside the hidden chapel of her heart,
with litanies of love she worships you.
So sick though is your soul it cannot hear;
I see its anger feeding on your grief,
plotting all night how best to make her suffer;
and yet if you must be revenged what better
vengeance is there than to know beneath
her cruel act she weeps to see your tears?

 

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Other Translations
 
(Book 5)
 
(Book 5)
 
(Book 5)
 
(Book 8)
 
(Book 3)

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