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Opera Libretti




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Cavalieri
Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo
English
Title-Page
Prologue Proem
Act I
Act II
Act III
Italian
Title Page
Prologo Proem
Act I
Act II
Act III

Act I

 
Scene 1
 
Time
Time, time flies,
life comes to nothing;
and already I seem to hear
the last trumpet, saying:
Come out of the grave
scattered ashes and bones;
rise, souls, again,
take now your bodies;
come and tell the truth,
if it was a better idea
to serve the vain world
or the King of Heaven above?
Let everyone hear,
open the eyes and understand
that this life is a wind,
that flies away in a moment;
today it comes,
tomorrow it dies;
today it appears,
tomorrow it disappears;
so let each one try,
while they have time,
to leave whatever is in the World,
however pleasing in itself;
and work with hands, work with the heart,
because the fruit of good works is honour.
 
 
Scene 2
 
Chorus
This mortal life,
to fly, has taken wing:
and with such hurried steps
as pursuing winds and arrows.
 
 
Quickly the day, and swiftly
runs to night: and at a stroke
summer disappears, and winter
in an instant goes to eternity.
 
Time that does not last
wears us out and limits us:
alas how in a moment
Heaven gives life and the wind takes it away!
 
But life that is short,
the wise man should not hate;
for a short time
brings us to the harbour we desire.
 
 
Scene 3
 
Intellect
Every heart loves good,
no-one wants to suffer pains:
so a thousand desires,
so a thousand sighs,
and laughter, together with grief
are felt by all.
And I that so love the good,
from the depth of my heart call,
alas, who can satisfy
these eager wishes of mine?
Riches? No, no,
they cannot satisfy me:
honour? But what does it give me
if it makes me want more?
Pleasure? But what does it delight me.
if it gives me new thirst?
One thing I should wish,
that alone can satisfy my feelings:
I should wish in my heart
to have that good that holds all other in itself:
I should wish, if such desire is allowed me,
to be in Heaven happy for ever with God.
 
 
Scene 4 – Body and Soul
 
Body
My soul, what are you thinking?
Why are you so in travail.
Always sighing in woe?
 
Soul
I would have repose and peace;
I would have love and joy,
and I find anxiety and trouble.
 
Body
Here, take my senses
which will give you repose and joy
in a thousand different ways.
 
Soul
I do not want to drink these waters,
that inflame more greatly
my burning thirst.
 
Body
Take the honours of the World,
to enjoy as much as you want,
that can satisfy you.
 
Soul
No, no, I know through experience
how much bitter wormwood
is covered by its false honey.
 
Body
Soul, than every other thing
you are fairer and more lovely:
then find gratification in yourself.
 
Soul
Now I myself do not:
and how in myself could I
find release from my own feelings?
 
Body
Then what can we do!
If you are so unwilling,
shall we always stand, complaining?
 
Soul
This no, if you listen to me,
And gaze with me
on higher desires.
Earth, why do you draw me
down to earth? Now follow my wish,
 and let us repose together in God.
 
Body
Alas! Who will counsel me?
And which of the two should I cling to?
Soul comforts me,
sense transports me,
my flesh tempts me,
the eternal frightens me:
wretched as I am, what must I do?
Should I turn to the worse?
No, no, that is not right
for a deceiving taste,
for my brief pleasure,
to lose Heaven, eternal Life, and God.
Well then, my Soul,
in company with you
I will search with love
for Heaven, eternal life, and my Lord.
 
 
Scene 5
 
Chorus
Merciful Heaven every grace and favour
pours out here below and bestows:
the great Lord opens his divine hand
and gives his graces:
Souls, that on earth receive the gift,
bless the Lord, for he is good.
 
His face is kind, his brow ever serene,
he looks down, hears and answers:
he has a pitying hand, a fatherly heart,
and he hides our faults,
low to chide, and quick to pardon:
bless the Lord, for he is good.
 
Celebrate the Lord on organs and strings,
drum, lutes and trumpets,
sing together in harmony the psalm, the hymn,
let the height re-echo with the sound:
Let every tongue together
bless the Lord for he is good.
 
 
Sinfonia

 


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5:51:20 AM, 26 July 2014
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