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Three Shakespeare Sonnets

Word count: 347

Song Cycle by Walter Aschaffenburg (b. 1927)

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1. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day [ sung text not verified ]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT FIN FRE FRE ITA JPN

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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.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Wilkinson: "Sometimes"
2 Wilkinson: "As long"

Submitted by Emily Ezust

2. Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea [ sung text not verified ]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
But sad mortality o'ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wrackful siege of batt'ring days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
    O, none, unless this miracle have might,
    That in black ink my love may still shine bright.


Submitted by Emily Ezust

3. That time of year thou mayst in me behold [ sung text not verified ]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT FRE FRI ITA RUS

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (L. A. J. Burgersdijk)
  • FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo) , no title, appears in Sonnets de Shakespeare, no. 73, first published 1857
  • FRI Frisian [singable] (Geart van der Meer) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Sonnetto LXXIII", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Сонет 73", written 1981, Sonnet 073, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
  This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
  To love that well which thou must leave ere long.


Submitted by Emily Ezust

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