The translation that I found of this first line of song is "Lovely moon, you who shed silver light". But according to my dictionary, "vaga" is either the feminine singular of "vago", vague, or the 2nd person singular imperative of "vagare", wander. I think we are in the second case here, but I'm not sure because my italian is not good enough. Here's the integral lyrics of the song: Vaga luna, che inargenti queste rive e questi fiori ed inspiri agli elementi il linguaggio dell'amor; testimonio or sei tu sola del mio fervido desir, ed a lei che m'innamora conta i palpiti e i sospir.

Dille pur che lontananza il mio duol non può lenir, che se nutro una speranza, ella è sol nell'avvenir. Dille pur che giorno e sera conto l'ore del dolor, che una speme lusinghiera mi conforta nell'amor.

Am I correct? Thanks in advance!

  • 3
    "vago" can also mean "lovely", "beautiful" and can be used a a noun, with the meaning of "lover". Both uses are not common in modern every-day language usage but they are documented here: treccani.it/vocabolario/vago1 (see meanings 3b and 4)
    – secan
    Aug 24 '21 at 15:17
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    To be pedantic, this “song” is actually an arietta composed by Vincenzo Bellini, but the author of whose lyrics is not known.
    – DaG
    Aug 24 '21 at 15:21
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    Welcome to Italian.SE!
    – Charo
    Aug 24 '21 at 17:35
  • 1
    vago: ( /và·go/ aggettivo) 2. Attraente, adorno, con una sfumatura onirica d'incanto o di allettamento: assai contenta, Di quel vago avvenir che in mente avevi (Leopardi); quando vaghe di lusinghe innanzi A me non danzeran l'ore future (Foscolo).
    – Hachi
    Aug 25 '21 at 18:58

Vaga is here the feminine form of the adjective vago, which in contemporary Italian means mostly “vague”, but in the past used to mean, as here, “beautiful, lovely”.

Inargenti is the 2nd person of the transitive verb inargentare, meaning “to cover with a silverlike sheen, to render something silvery”. So, not precisely “who shed silver light”, but rather “who make [these banks and these flowers] silvery”. (Note that this is not supposed to be a good translation; English is not my first language, so I have no idea how an English-speaking poet or lyricist would render this. My goal is just to convey the meaning.)

So, all in all, something like “Lovely moon, you who make [whatever] silvery”.

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