Heinrich Schütz
(1585 - 1672)

O primavera/O dolcezze amarissime
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One of Schutz' earliest works, from his Italian Madrigals, 1611.
Lyrics: Battista Guarini

O primavera, gioventù de l'anno, bella madre di fiori, d'herbe novelle e di novelli amori, tu torni ben, ma teco altro non tornano i sereni e fortunati dì delle mie gioie, che del perduto mio caro tesoro la rimembranza misera e dolente, tu quella sè, ch'eri pur dianzi sì vezzosa e bella, ma non son io già quel ch'un tempo fui, sì caro agliocchi altrui.
O dolcezze amarissime d'amore, quanto è più duro perdervi, che mai non v'haver ò provate ò possedute!
Come sarìa l'amar felice stato, se'l già goduto ben non si perdesse; o quando egli si perde, ogni memoria ancora del dileguato ben si dileguasse!

O spring, the year's youth, beautiful mother of flowers, of new grass and new loves, you always return, but with you there is no return of the serene and happy days of my joy. The memory is sad and painful, for I have lost my dearest treasure. I lost you, who so lately were so lovely and fair. I myself am no longer what I was, so attractive in the eyes of others.
O bitterest sweetness of love, how much harder it is to lose you than never to have tasted or possessed you.
How happy love would have made me if I had enjoyed it and never lost it, or, when it is lost, if every memory of what has vanished should also vanish.