Io v'amo sol perche
Torquato Tasso (1544-1595)

Io v'amo sol perchè voi siete bella,
e perchè vuol mia stella,
non ch'io speri da voi, dolce mio bene,
altro che pene.

E se talor gli occhi miei mostrate
aver qualche pietate,
io non spero da voi del pianger tanto
altro che pianto.

Nè, perchè udite i miei sospiri ardenti
che per voi sprago a i venti,
altro spera da voi questo mio core
se non dolore.

Lasciate pur ch'io v'ami e ch'io vi miri
e che per voi sospiri,
chè pene pianto e doglia è sol mercede
de la mia fede.


At the age of twenty-one Tasso entered the service of the Este family of Ferrara, but his association with the house of Este was to be a tragic one. In 1575, after having completed his major works, he suffered the first of a series of nervous breakdowns that very rapidly took the form of furious insanity and required first isolation in the Este palace and a monastery, and later confinement in the asylum of Sant'Anna, where on occasion he had to be kept in chains. Tasso remained at Sant'Anna seven years. Released in 1586, but not fully cured, he spent the rest of his life wandering from city to city, never at peace with himself. He died in Rome, in the monastery of Saint Onofrio.

As you can tell from this poem, it was probably some girl's fault.


Mike Towler, April 1998