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Cantata Concertante: "When dreams do show thee me"

Word count: 236

Song Cycle by Edward Applebaum (b. 1937)

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1. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT FIN FRE FRE ITA JPN RUS

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


Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
[Sometime]1 too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
  [So long]2 as men can breathe or eyes can see,
  So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


About the headline (FAQ)

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1 Wilkinson: "Sometimes"
2 Wilkinson: "As long"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): CAT FRE FRE ITA

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Quan més parpellejo, millor hi veuen els meus ulls", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo) , no title, appears in Sonnets de Shakespeare, no. 43, first published 1857
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Più io li tengo chiusi, più i miei occhi son chiari", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow's form form happy show
To the clear [day]1 with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so?
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay?
  All days are nights to see till I see thee,
  And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.


About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Britten: "days"

Submitted by Ted Perry

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