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The LiederNet Archive
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Riders in Paradise

Word count: 719

Cantata by Peter Tahourdin (1928 - 2009)

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?. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): CHI GER HUN

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

  • CHI Chinese (中文) (M.W. Wang) , "我有多麽愛你?", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as [they]1 turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I [seemed]2 to lose
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.


View original text (without footnotes)
See also Karl Shapiro's parody How do I love you?
1 Steele: "men"
2 Steele: "seem"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. My letters! all dead paper, mute and white! [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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My letters! all dead paper, mute and white!
And yet they seem alive and quivering
Against my tremulous hands which loose the string
And let them drop down on my knee to-night.
This said, -- he wished to have me in his sight
Once, as a friend: this fixed a day in spring
To come and touch my hand . . . a simple thing,
Yet I wept for it! -- this, . . . the paper's light . . .
Said, Dear I love thee; and I sank and quailed
As if God's future thundered on my past.
This said, I am thine -- and so its ink has paled
With lying at my heart that beat too fast.
And this . . . O Love, thy words have ill availed
If, what this said, I dared repeat at last!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Belovèd, thou hast brought me many flowers [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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Belovèd, thou [hast brought]1 me many flowers
Plucked in [the]2 garden, all the summer through
And winter, and it seemed as if they grew
In [this]3 close room, nor missed the sun and showers.
So, in the like name of that love of ours,
Take back these thoughts which here unfolded too,
And which on warm and cold days I withdrew
From my heart's ground. Indeed, [those]4 beds and bowers
Be overgrown with bitter weeds and rue,
And wait thy weeding; yet here's eglantine,
Here's ivy! -- take them, as I used to do
Thy flowers, and keep them where they shall not pine.
Instruct thine eyes to keep their colours true,
And tell thy soul, their roots are left in mine.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Carpenter: "did'st bring"
2 Carpenter: "this"
3 Carpenter: "my"
4 Carpenter: "these"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Thou comest! all is said without a word [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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Thou comest! all is said without a word.
I sit beneath thy looks, as children do
In the noon-sun, with souls that tremble through
Their happy eyelids from an unaverred
Yet prodigal inward joy.  Behold, I erred
In that last doubt! and yet I cannot rue
The sin most, but the occasion -- that we two
Should for a moment stand unministered
By a mutual presence.  Ah, keep near and close,
Thou dove-like help! and when my fears would rise,
With thy broad heart serenely interpose:
Brood down with thy divine sufficiencies
These thoughts which tremble when bereft of those,
Like callow birds left desert to the skies.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Say over again, and yet once over again [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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Say over again, and yet once over again,
That thou dost love me. Though the word repeated
Should seem “a cuckoo-song,” as thou dost treat it,
Remember, never to the hill or plain,
Valley and wood, without her cuckoo-strain
Comes the fresh Spring in all her green completed.
Belovèd, I, amid the darkness greeted
By a doubtful spirit-voice, in that doubt’s pain
Cry, “Speak once more—thou lovest!” Who can fear
Too many stars, though each in heaven shall roll,
Too many flowers, though each shall crown the year?
Say thou [dost]1 love me, love me, love me — toll
The silver iterance! — only minding, Dear,
To love me also in silence with thy soul.


View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald, Vol. XLI. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14; Bartleby.com, 2001. www.bartleby.com/41/598.htm

1 Steele: "does" (typo?)

Submitted by Lynn Steele

?. I see thine image through my tears to-night [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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I see thine image through my tears to-night,
And yet to-day I saw thee smiling. How
Refer the cause?--Beloved, is it thou
Or I, who makes me sad? The acolyte
Amid the chanted joy and thankful rite
May so fall flat, with pale insensate brow,
On the altar-stair. I hear thy voice and vow,
Perplexed, uncertain, since thou art out of sight,
As he, in his swooning ears, the choir's amen.
Beloved, dost thou love? or did I see all
The glory as I dreamed, and fainted when
Too vehement light dilated my ideal,
For my soul's eyes? Will that light come again,
As now these tears come--falling hot and real?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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