4

I'm going through the libretto of Anna Bolena by F. Romani, and in Percy's initial aria (the cabaletta specifically), I've easily translated everything up to the last two lines. Here's the entire cabaletta, for context:

Ah così ne' dì ridenti
Del primier felice amore.
Palpitar sentiva il core
Nel doverla riveder.
Di que' dolci e bei momenti,
Ciel pietoso, un sol mi rendi;
Poi la vita, a me riprendi,
perch'io mora di piacer.

I first tried rearranging it to: "Poi riprendi la (mia) vita a me perch(é) io mora di piacer(e)."

My sense of the last two lines is something tantamount to "Then you will return my life to me because I....". This feels wierd though, because all my attempts at translating "mora" are either the feminine form of "moro" (moor) or mulberry.

Could someone please explain, what mora di piacer(e) means, and if it isn't obvious from that, in what context is it being used in, above?

  • 2
    As you can see at Treccani dictionary, it's an archaic form of first person present subjunctive ("cong. pres.") of verb "morire", that is, "to die". – Charo Sep 5 '17 at 17:18
  • 2
    That is, the meaning of "perch'io mora di piacer" would be something like "so that I die of pleasure". – Charo Sep 5 '17 at 17:32
  • By the way, the meaning of "Poi la vita, a me riprendi" is "Then, take my life away" and not "Then you will return my life to me". – Charo Sep 5 '17 at 17:40
  • @Charo, Thanks for the explanations. On your latest note, doesn't the ri- in riprendi imply repetition or "again"? I discounted "take" when I was first looking at it (due to not knowing what the last line read), but now it feels like the whole phrase should read "Then, take my life away again so that I die of pleasure." Does that seem right? – Marco Sep 5 '17 at 17:44
  • Yes, I think your last sentence it's a better translation. – Charo Sep 5 '17 at 17:49
4

As you can see at Treccani dictionary

morire v. intr. [lat. *mŏrīre per il lat. class. mŏri] (pres. muòio, muòri, muòre, moriamo, morite, muòiono [pop. mòio, mòri, mòre ..., mòiono; ant. o dial. mòro ..., mòrono]; cong. pres. muòia ..., moriamo, moriate, muòiano [pop. mòia ..., mòiano; ant. o dial. mòra ..., mòrano]; fut. morirò o morrò, ecc.; condiz. morirèi o morrèi, ecc.; part. pass. mòrto; aus. essere)

in this text "mora" is an archaic form (the dictionary says "ant.") of first person present subjunctive ("cong. pres.") of verb "morire", that is, "to die".

In that way, the meaning of

Poi la vita, a me riprendi,
perch'io mora di piacer.

would be something like "Then, take my life away again so that I die of pleasure."

| improve this answer | |
  • I'm still not used to the layout and presentation of Treccani (or even how to search it properly -- I mainly use the italian Wiktionary), but this makes it a lot more helpful for the future. Thanks again, @Charo! – Marco Sep 5 '17 at 18:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.