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My spirit is too weak; mortality

Language: English

[My]1 spirit is too weak; mortality 
Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,
And each imagined pinnacle and steep
Of godlike hardship tells me I must die,
Like a sick eagle looking towards the sky.
Yet 'tis a gentle luxury to weep,
That I have not the cloudy winds to keep
Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye.
Such dim-conceived glories of the brain
Bring round the heart an indescribable feud;
So do these wonders a most dizzy pain,
That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude
Wasting of old Time -- with a billowy main,
A sun, a shadow of a magnitude.

Translation(s): FRE GER HUN

List of language codes

C. Ives sets lines 1-5
G. Bachlund sets lines 1-5

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Ives: "The"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Jean-Pierre Granger) , "En contemplant les marbres d'Elgin pour la première fois", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Beim ersten Sehen der Parthenon Friese", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Tamás Rédey) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:36

Line count: 14
Word count: 102

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En contemplant les marbres d'Elgin pour la première fois

Language: French (Français) after the English

Mon esprit est trop faible; L'idée de la mort
Pèse lourdement sur moi comme un sommeil qu'on repousse,
Et chaque cimes et falaise chimérique
De privations pieuses me disent qu'il me faut mourir,
Comme un aigle malade levant son regard vers le ciel.
Pourtant, il m'est un doux réconfort de réaliser, en pleurant,
Que je n'ai pas à garder les vvent brumeux
Frais lorsque s'ouvre les yeux de l'aurore.
De telles gloires vaguement conçues par l'esprit
Aportent au coeur un trouble indescriptible;
Ainsi ces prodiges cause une douleur vertigineuse
Qui mélange la splendeur grecque avec l'outrageante 
flétrissure des Temps anciens -- dans un grand tourbillon,
Un soleil, l'ombre d'une Gloire.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

"Like a sick eagle" = "Comme un aigle malade"


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2010 by Jean-Pierre Granger, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Jean-Pierre Granger. Contact:
    <trazom69 (AT) hotmail (DOT) com>

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in English by John Keats (1795 - 1821), "On seeing the Elgin Marbles for the first time" GER HUN
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Gary Bachlund, Charles Edward Ives, Roger Guy Steptoe. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2010-11-11 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:07

Line count: 14
Word count: 109