Monteverdi's Fourth Book of Madrigals
English Translations 
 
         
          He stood in the shadows of a pine
            and took a knife. The afternoon was still,
            beech leaves had begun to curl and burn
            and roots dug still deeper into soil
            the sun had scorched and searched all day for rain.
            He cut into the rough bark her name
            in all the many languages of love
            as the sheep slept round him in the shade;
            he cursed in wet wood and sap his loss
            while the day cooled like a stone;
            he carved the few words of hers he’d kept
            as the evening breeze whispered in the grove;
            and then as darkness fell he read again
            her words with stumbling fingers, and he wept.
 

 

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

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