The Thinking 

A Love Song

February 14, 2017


THE famous tenor Mario Lanza (1921-1959) sings “Una Furtiva Lagrima,” an aria from Gaetano Donizetti’s opera “L’Elisir d’Amore” (“The Elixir of Love”).

In the opera, a poor peasant falls in love with a wealthy woman and, having no hope that she will return his love, he buys a love potion, which is actually cheap red wine sold by a quack. In the aria, Nemorino, the peasant, sings of his belief that the potion has finally worked after seeing “a furtive tear” in the eyes of his beloved, Adina.

A translation:

 A furtive tear
in her eyes appeared:
Those festive young girls
she seemed to envy.
What more need I look for?
What more need I look for?
She loves me! Yes, she loves me, I see it. I see it.
For a single instant the beats
of her beautiful heart to feel!
My sighs to confound
for a while with her sighs!
Her heartbeats, her heartbeats to feel,
my sighs with hers to merge
Heavens! One could die!
More I cannot ask, I cannot ask.
Oh, heavens! One could, one could die!
More I cannot ask, I cannot ask.
One could die! One could die of love!

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