QUIS DABIT CAPITI MEO ... O THAT MY HEAD WERE WATERS ...
Angelo Poliziano tr. John Addington Symonds

Quis dabit capiti meo
aquam? Quis oculis meis
fontem lachrimarum dabit,
ut necte fleam?
ut necte fleam?

Sic turtur viduus solet,
sic cygnus moriens solet,
sic luscinia conqueri.
Heu miser, miser!
O dolor, dolor!

Laurus impetu fulminis
illa illa iacet subito,
Laurus omnium celebris
Musarum choris, nympharum choris.

Sub cuius patula coma
et Phoebi lyra blandius
insonat et vox dulcius;
nunc murta omnia,
nunc surda omnia.

O that my head were
waters, and my eyes
a fount of tears,
that I might weep by day
and weep by night!

So mourns the widowed turtledove,
so mourns the dying swan,
so mourns the nightingale
Ah, woe is me!
O grief, o grief!

Lightning has struck
our laurel tree,
our laurel so dear
to all the muses and the dances of the nymphs
.
Beneath whose spreading boughs
Phoebus himself more sweetly
played and sang.
Now all is mute
and there is none to hear.

next
index
translator's next