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Les chants de l'âme

Word count: 1206

Song Cycle by Olivier Greif (1950 - 2000)

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1. The Tyger [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): CAT FRE GER GER RUS

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "El tigre", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le tigre", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "Der Tiger", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Thomas Schubert) , "Der Tiger", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Тигр", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,  
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?  

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?  
On what wings dare he aspire?  
What the hand, dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?  

What the hammer? what the chain,  
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!  

When the stars threw down their spears  
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:  
What immortal hand or eye,  
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Deniall [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Reniement", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


   When my devotions could not pierce
                                Thy silent eares;
Then was my heart broken, as was my verse;
           My breast was full of fears
                                And disorder: 
   My bent thoughts, like a brittle bow,
                                Did flie asunder:
Each took his way; some would to pleasures go,
           Some to the warres and thunder
                                Of alarms. 
   As good go any where, they say,
                                As to benumme
Both knees and heart, in crying night and day,
           Come, come, my God, O come,
                                But no hearing. 
   O that thou shouldst give dust a tongue
                                To crie to thee,
                                But no hearing.
And then not heare it crying! all day long
           My heart was in my knee,
                                But no hearing. 
   Therefore my soul lay out of sight,
                                Untun'd, unstrung:
My feeble spirit, unable to look right,
          Like a nipt blossome, hung
                                Discontented. 
   O cheer and tune my heartlesse breast,
                                Deferre no time;
That so thy favours granting my request,
           They and my minde may chime,
                                And mend my ryme.


Submitted by Jacques L'oiseleur des Longchamps

3. Death be not proud [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER ITA

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Sonett über den Tod", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Non esser fiera, Morte", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for thou art not soe,
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor [yet canst thou]1 kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do goe,
Rest of their bones, and souls deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sickness dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well 
And better than thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bennett: "nor canst thou yet"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Sic vita [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Ainsi est la vie", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Like to the falling of a star,
Or [as the flights]1 of eagles are;
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew;
Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
Or bubbles which on water stood:
Even such is man, whose borrowed [light]2
Is straight call'd in, and paid to night.
  The wind blows out, the bubble dies;
  The spring entombed in autumn lies.
  The dew dries up, the star is shot;
  The flight is past and man forgot.


View original text (without footnotes)
Note: author given as "Harry King" in the Bennett score.
1 Bennett: "like the flight"
2 Bennett: "plight"
Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Holy sonnet [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Sonnet sacré", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Batter my heart, three person'd God; for you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.

I, like an usurpt towne, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend
But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue.

Yet dearely I love you, and would be loved faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie:
Divorce mee, untie, or breake that knot againe,

Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish mee.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Vertue [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Vertu", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridall of the earth and skie:
The dew shall weep thy fall to night;
                                    For thou must die.

Sweet rose, whose hue angrie and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye:
Thy root is ever in its grave
                                    And thou must die.

Sweet spring, full of sweet dayes and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie;
My musick shows ye have your closes,
                                    And all must die.

Onely a sweet and vertuous soul,
Like season'd timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,
                                    Then chiefly lives.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Song [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Ask me no more where [Jove]1 bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauty's orient deep
These flowers, as in their causes, sleep. 

Ask me no more whither do stray
The golden atoms of the day;
For in pure love heaven did prepare
Those powders to enrich your hair.  

Ask me no more whither doth haste
The nightingale, when [May]2 is past;
For in your sweet dividing throat
She winters, and keeps warm her note.  

Ask me no more where those stars 'light,
That downwards fall [in]3 dead of night;
For in your eyes they sit, and there
Fixèd become as in their sphere.  

Ask me no more if east or west
The Phœnix builds her spicy nest;
For unto you at last she flies,
And in your fragrant bosom dies.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Headlam-Morley: "Love"
2 Headlam-Morley: "June"
3 Headlam-Morley: "at"

Submitted by Jacques L'oiseleur des Longchamps

8. Mortification [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Mortification", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


          How soon doth man decay !  
When clothes are taken from a chest of sweets  
        To swaddle infants, whose young breath  
                Scarce knows the way ;  
        Those clouts are little winding sheets,  
Which do consigne and send them unto death.  
 
            When boyes go first to bed,  
They step into their voluntarie graves ;  
        Sleep bindes them fast ; onely their breath  
                Makes them not dead.  
        Successive nights, like rolling waves,  
Convey them quickly, who are bound for death.  

            When youth is frank and free,  
And calls for musick, while his veins do swell,  
        All day exchanging mirth and breath  
                In companie ;  
        That musick summons to the knell,  
Which shall befriend him at the houre of death.  
 
            When man grows staid and wise,  
Getting a house and home, where he may move  
        Within the circle of his breath,  
                Schooling his eyes ;  
        That dumbe inclosure maketh love  
Unto the coffin, that attends his death.  
 
            When age grows low and weak,  
Marking his grave, and thawing ev'ry yeare,  
        Till all do melt, and drown his breath  
                When he would speak ;  
        A chair or litter shows the biere,  
Which shall convey him to the house of death.  
 
            Man, ere he is aware,  
Hath put together a solemnitie,  
        And drest his herse, while he has breath  
                As yet to spare.  
        Yet Lord, instruct us so to die  
That all these dyings may be life in death.


Submitted by Jacques L'oiseleur des Longchamps

9. Peace [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Paix", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


My soul, there is a country
  [Afar]1 beyond the stars,
Where stands a wingèd sentry
  All skilful in the wars:

There, above noise and danger
  Sweet Peace sits [crown'd]2 with smiles
And One, born in a manger
  Commands the beauteous files.

He is thy gracious Friend
  And -- O my soul, awake! --
Did in pure love descend
  To die here for thy sake.

If thou canst [get]3 but thither,
  There grows the [flower]4 of Peace,
The Rose that cannot wither,
  Thy fortress and thy ease.

Leave then thy foolish ranges,
  For none can thee secure
But One who never changes,
  Thy God, thy life, thy cure.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Dyson, Parry: "Far"
2 Parry: "crowned"
3 Dyson: "go"
4 Parry: "flow'r"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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