“Com’è bello” Lyrics and Translation

Lucretia’s Aria from Donizetti’s Opera, Lucrezia Borgia

Giudecca Canal in Venice is the setting of the prologue in Donizetti’s opera, Lucrezia Borgia. Armaroli Stefano/Getty Images

You’ll hear this beautiful aria sung in the prologue of Donizetti’s opera, Lucrezia Borgia, by the titular character when she crosses paths with her son, Gennaro, for the first time since he was a child. Read the full synopsis of Lucrezia Borgia. Prior to her arrival, Gennaro and his friends were sitting on a terrace near the river, but when he grew tired of their conversation he fell asleep on a nearby bench.

When his friends went to a party and left him alone, Lucrezia finds him sleeping. She sings this aria as she cherishingly studies his face, hoping not to wake him.

Listen to Dame Joan Sutherland in this YouTube video as she sings “Com’è bello.”

Italian Lyrics

Com'è bello! Quale incanto
In quel volto onesto e altero!
No, giammai leggiadro tanto
Non sel pinse il mio pensiero.
L'alma mia di gioia è piena,
Or che alfin lo può mirar ...
Ma risparmia, o ciel, la pena
Ch'ei debba un dì sprezzar.
Se il destassi? ... No: non oso,
Nè scoprire il mio sembiante:
Pure il ciglio lagrimoso
Terger debbo un solo istante.

Mentre geme il cor sommesso,
Mentre piango a te d'appresso,
Dormi e sogna, o dolce ogetto,
Sol di gioia e di diletto,
Ed un angiol tutelare
Non ti desti che al piacer!
Ah! triste notti e veglie amare
Debbo sola sostener
Gioie sogna, ed un angiol
Non ti desti che al piacer!

English Translation

How beautiful! His enchanting
Face is both honest and proud!

No, never did my thoughts
Paint such a pretty picture.
My soul is full of joy,
At last I can look upon him…
But save me heaven when
He should one day scorn me.
Should I wake him? … No, I do not dare,
He will not discover my countenance:
My eyelashes are wet with tears
That I must wipe away.

While my heart moans softly,
While I cry over you,
Sleep, and let sweet dreams come to you,
With joy and delight,
And an angel protecting you
Do not awaken, enjoy the pleasure of your dreams!

Ah! Sad nights and vigils of love
Must only sustain me
Joys dreams, and an angel
Do not awaken, enjoy the pleasure of your dreams!

More Aria Lyrics and Translations​

Verdi’s “Caro Nome” Lyrics and Translation
Strauss’ "Es gibt ein Reich” Lyrics and Translation
Massenet’s "Je vous écris de ma petite chambre" Lyrics and Text Translation