Madrigale per 3 contratenori

Francesco Petrarca, sonetto n. 225

Madrigale per 3 contratenori
Original Italian English Translation
Dodici donne onestamente lasse,
Anzi dodici stelle, e ‘n mezo un sole
vidi in una barchetta allegre et sole
qual non so s’altra mai onde solcasse;

simil non credo che Jasòn portasse
al vello onde oggi ogni uom vestir si vole,
né ‘l pastor di ch’ancor Troia si dole,
de’ qua’ duo tal romor al mondo fasse.

Poi le vidi in un carro triunfale,
Laurea mia con suoi santi atti schifi
Sedersi in parte et cantar dolcemente;

non cose umane o vision mortale.
Felice Automedòn, felice Tifi
Che conduceste sì leggiadra gente!

Twelve ladies virtuously languid –
rather twelve stars – and in the midst a sun I
saw, gray and alone in a little bark such that I
know not if its like ever plowed the waves;

I do not believe its like carried Jason to the fleece
with which everyone wishes to be dressed today,
nor the shepherd on whose account Troy still grieves,
of which two so much noise is made in the world.

Then I saw them in a triumphal chariot,
and my Laurel with her holy, retiring manner
sitting to the side and sweetly singing:

not human things or a mortal vision.
Happy Automedon, happy Tiphys,
who steered such charming folk!

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