Prince of Venosa
My thoughts on love? Good Sir, my wife betrayed me -
Yes, me, Gesualdo da Venosa, Prince,
And Count of Conza. She most foully played me,
So loveís a topic that revolts me since.
Her lover I dispatched by sword and gun;
On her, I used a well-honed hunting‑knife,
And when I saw that she was not quite done,
I slit the throat of my adulterous wife.
The only solace was my composition,
My madrigals, my sacred Tenebrae,
For music mitigates the soulís attrition,
And brings to blackest nights a glimpse of day.
My life, good Sir, so grievously dramatic,
Explains my music, anguished and chromatic.
If you have any comments on this poem, Brian Allgar
would be pleased to hear from you.