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Opera Libretti

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Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo
Prologue Proem
Act I
Act II
Title Page
Prologo Proem
Act I
Act II

Act II

Scene 1
Bless the Lord for he is good.
Scene 2
Our life on earth
is no other than war:
for harsh enemies are round us
night and day:
and with art and deceit
they often make us fall:
the World makes itself fair
with glass and tinsel:
the flesh with bad works
covers the worms within:
and this life still
gilds its ashes.
So let the one chosen as a soldier
arm his brow and breast;
take the mail-coat of faith,
and come to the battle
for every man, who has given himself to God
must needs be tempted:
but happy he who grapples
with his enemy and wins,
for his prize will be
in Heaven a sceptre and crown.
Scene 3
O what great errors and darkness
cast shadow on human minds!
O in what great abysses lie
hearts ever deluded!
Why through mud, and dust
does man’s heart so eagerly
go in search of joy,
that Heaven only holds?
See, O desirous minds,
the limpid springs of Heaven
and leave the most impure World’s
muddy waters.
What enchantment, what fascination
attacks and holds the heart,
that it takes poison for food
and gives death to the soul?
Scene 4 – Pleasure, with Two Companions, Body, and Soul
He who wants joy, who desires
to taste jests and pleasure
while time calls.
Come, come and enjoy,
cast aside your troubles.
Run and be joyful with us.
The little birds
sing on the trees:
the simple fish
dart through the streams,
and invite to pleasure
with many things.
The grassy meadows laugh
that have coloured clothing;
the woods and shady groves
are happy and make festival:
every flowered hill
invites to merriment.
To these sounds and songs,
Soul, I feel myself moved
like a leaf in the wind.
How do you so quickly change?
Be strong and do not fear,
this is false pleasure.
Pleasure, and companions
O songs, O laughter, O pleasant loves,
fresh waters, soft meadows, serene breezes,
pleasing harmonies, that delight hearts,
banquets, suppers and tasty dinners,
fair clothing, and delightful scents,
triumphs and festival full of merriment,
delight, taste, joy and pleasure,
blessed the soul that can enjoy them.
I do not believe it, no, no!
I know your deceits:
all your things
that look delightful
in the end are all bitter.
Blessed the soul that knows how to do without.
Pleasure, and companions
Chase away the thoughts
so disturbed, sad and black.
Open, open your breast
to pleasure and to delight.
Open, open your heart
 to joy and to love,
sweet delight
that makes glad the breast,
tender ardour
that makes the heart rejoice.
Away, away, false Sirens,
full of fraud and deceits,
the end of your singing
is always full of weeping:
every delight is short:
but the following affliction never ends.
Pleasure, and companions
Since it is not pleasing to you
our cheerful company,
we shall take our way
where others may desire:
for to have content
they will come in hundreds.
Scene 5 – Body, and Soul, and Heaven’s Reply
I do not know if it was good
to leave aside such pleasure as the World holds.
I will ask Heaven
which never hides the truth.
We shall see what it answers.
Does the wise man love worldly pleasure, or flee?
(Reply: Flee)
What thing is the man who seeks and seeks in vain?
(Reply: Vain)
Who gives death to the heart with displeasure?
(Reply: Pleasure)
How does he obtain life who life does love?
(Reply: Love)
Love of the world’s beauties, or of God?
(Reply: God)
Then he will die who desires pleasure, truly?
(Reply: Truly)
Now what Heaven has said
see, I put together for you,
flee vain pleasure, love God truly.
Scene 6 – Guardian Angel, Soul, Body, and Chorus
Guardian Angel
Strongest warriors,
who have proud enemies
chased away,
the Lord has sent me here
that in every brave enterprise
your heart will be comforted.
Another fight remains for you
wearying and troublesome,
but do not for a moment fear,
for I have joined you here.
And in every strange event
I will hold out to you my hand.
Some tame the proud,
some triumph over haughty people,
but above every warrior
is the brave man who conquers his flattering senses.
Scene 7 – World, and Worldly Life, Body and Soul, Guardian Angel, Chorus
I am, I am the World,
that abounds in grandeur:
and my wonderful arm
in every part I stretch:
mine are all treasures,
all silver and gold.
Great riches,
famous things of beauty,
worthy princedoms,
powerful kingdoms:
to him who would serve me
and come where I want,
with much delight for him,
I promise great things.
Soul, I hear great things,
if World is telling the truth,
I would change my mind.
I too am thinking
if together I could
serve the World and God.
Guardian Angel
You cannot have two hearts
and serve two Lords,
for one rules in one way,
the other has opposite laws;
serve only
the powerful Lord God.
What the earth has,
what the sea girdles and holds,
and where Heaven stretches,
all is under me:
I bring together all in my bosom
and I give it to whom I want.
Worldly Life
I am dear life
so pleasing to you.
Fair, lovely and charming,
cheerful, and confident,
that give readily
whatever I have of what is fair and good:
if you want to serve
the World that you see,
I will give you with love
the flower of my life.
I will give you long days,
and with cheerfulness:
do you stand waiting
when years run by?
When the hair grows white
and life is over?
Guardian Angel
Whoever attends well, it is not
all gold that glitters:
serve now
God, while it is allowed you:
for tomorrow, who knows
what will happen to you?
Soul, to the ardent enemy
answer with ardour.
I who bear with me
the image of the King,
I, made with honour,
like my Maker,
what have I to do with the World,
that passes, and falls to the bottom?
Look at my aspect,
I give what I promise:
 take present good,
live cheerfully.
I that am spirit, and mind,
that last eternally,
what have I to do with life
that soon is gone?
You would do well
if you argued no more.
Guardian Angel
This wicked ingrate
is covered in mud!
This false and lascivious creature
is death, that seems alive!
Now come, and see the World
and what life and the World is.
Strip this wicked one and see
what your heart does not believe.
Take off this guise,
I want to see you.
Alas, the angelic strength
how does it act with force upon me?
O how the world is
all poor and ugly!
I know you well by these rags,
no more, no more again do you deceive me.
O wretched lovers,
who to the World give your hearts,
see how vile
is that which seemed to you fine:
and how sad the fate
to embrace what leads to death.
Guardian Angel
Strip that one too.
Worldly Life
Ah me, I would not have that.
Alas, wretched fate!
Then is life death?
Then is human life
death reclothed?
Guardian Angel
Now you have discovered
deception covered over,
with contemptuous hand
chase her far away.
Soul, and Body together
Away, away, deceiving World,
away, away, fleeting Life,
go and find fools
whose eyes are dazzled:
O what cloud and shadow
obstructs mortal eyes!
Scene 8 - Guardian Angel, Soul and Body: and Angels in Heaven, that opens.
Guardian Angel
To the brave conqueror
honour is due,
honour that is prepared
in Heaven, that makes him blessed:
so now from the earth
that you have conquered in war
turn your heart and regard,
and direct your steps to Paradise.
Angels in Heaven, that opens
Come, beloved, to Heaven,
come blessed ones,
for these fair abodes
were made for you above the stars:
leave aside now the earth
where there is perpetual war:
leap up to Heaven in glorious flight,
where is peace and repose,
where without any veil
is seen the King of Heaven.
Scene 9 - Chorus
One of the  Chorus
After brief toils
to be able from cold and ice
to leap up blessed, to Heaven,
to the everlasting honours
from the World, full of evils,
is the possible lot of mortals.
Is the possible lot of mortals.
Two of the Chorus  
After trials
man, frail and beggared
but a friend to virtue
to be able to leap up on high, where
there are immortal riches
is the possible lot of mortals.
From earthly abysses,
Where death reigns,
To be able to leap up, perchance,
To the highest eternal kingdoms
That have no other equals,
Is the possible lot of mortals.
To love eternal good,
To leap up to Heaven above,
To flee the evils of the World
Is the possible fate of mortals


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