Torquato Tasso

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Oh, love is real enough; you will find it someday, but it has one archenemy—and that is life.
Jean Anouilh Ardele
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All time is truly lost and gone Which is not spent in serving love

Torquato Tasso (1544-03-111595-04-25) was an Italian epic poet and dramatist, best known for his Rinaldo (1562), Aminta (1573) and Gerusalemme Liberata (1580).


  • Forse, se tu gustassi anco una volta
    La millesima parte de la gioie
    Che gusta un cor amato riamando,
    Diresti, ripentita, sospirando:
    Perduto è tutto il tempo
    Che in amar non si spende.
    • Translation: Perhaps if only once you did enjoy
      The thousandth part of all the happiness
      A heart beloved enjoys, returning love,
      Repentant, you would surely sighing say,
      "All time is truly lost and gone
      Which is not spent in serving love."
    • Aminta Act I, sc. i, line 26 (1573)
    • Translation by Charles Jernigan and Irene Marchegiani Jones, Aminta (2000) p. 13
  • Tu prima, Onor, velasti
    La fonte dei diletti,
    Negando l'onde a l'amorosa sete.
    • Translation: You, Honor, first you hid
      The fount of love's delight,
      Denying drafts to slake the lover's thirst.
    • Aminta, Act I, sc. ii, line 358
    • Translation: Jernigan and Jones p. 55.
  • Brama assai, poco spera, e nulla chiede.
    • Translation: He full of bashfulness and truth,
      Loved much, hoped little, and desired nought.
    • Gerusalemme Liberata Bk. II, stanza 16 (1580)
    • Translation by Edward Fairfax, Godfrey of Bulloigne; or, The Recovery of Jerusalem (1844) vol. 1, p. 100. Translation first published 1600.


  • Fortune rarely accompanies anyone to the door.
  • It is the fortunate who should extol fortune.
    • Though attributed to Tasso this is in fact from Goethe's Torquato Tasso, Act II, sc. iii, line 115. In the original German: Das Glück erhebe billig der Beglückte!.
  • The day of fortune is like a harvest day,
    We must be busy when the corn is ripe
    • Actually from Goethe's Torquato Tasso, Act IV, sc. iv, line 63. In the original German:
      Ein Tag der Gunst ist wie ein Tag der Ernte:
      Man muss geschäftig sein, sobald sie reift.

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