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The Fairy Queen, an operatic adaptation of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream

Word count: 347

Song Cycle by Henry Purcell (1658/9 - 1695)

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7. Come all ye songsters [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Come all ye songsters of the sky,
Wake and assemble in this wood;
But no ill-boding bird be nigh,
No, none but the harmless, and the good.


Submitted by Virginia Knight

13. Secresy's 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) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


One charming night
Gives more delight
Than a hundred lucky days:
Night and I improve the taste,
Make the pleasure longer last
A thousand, thousand several ways.


Submitted by Virginia Knight

23. When I have often heard young maids complaining [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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A Nymph:
 When I have often heard young Maids complaining, 
 That when Men promise most they most deceive, 
 The I thought none of them worthy of my gaining; 
 And what they Swore, resolv'd ne're to believe. 
 But when so humbly he made his Addresses, 
 With Looks so soft, and with Language so kind, 
 I thought it Sin to refuse his Caresses; 
 Nature o'ercame, and I soon chang'd my Mind. 
 Should he employ all his wit in deceiving, 
 Stretch his Invention, and artfully feign; 
 I find such Charms, such true Joy in believing, 
 I'll have the Pleasure, let him have the Pain. 
 If he proves Perjur'd, I shall not be Cheated, 
 He may deceive himself, but never me; 
 'Tis what I look for, and shan't be defeated, 
 For I'll be as false and inconstant as he. 
 A Thousand Thousand ways we'll find 
 To Entertain the Hours; 
 No Two shall e're be known so kind, 
 No Life so Blest as ours.


Submitted by Barry Kamil

39bc. An Epithalamium [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE ITA

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant nuptial", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Epitalamio", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Thrice happy lovers, may you be 
  For ever, ever free,
From the tormenting devil, Jealousy.
  From all the anxious [Care]1 and Strife,
  That attends a married Life:
  Be to one another true,
  Kind to her as [she]2 to you.
And since the Errors of this Night are past,
May he be ever Constant, [she for ever Chast]3.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Purcell, Tippett: "cares"
2 Purcell, Tippett: "she's"
3 Purcell, Tippett: "she be ever chaste"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

40. The plaint [ 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) , "La plainte", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


O, let me forever weep:
My eyes no more shall welcome sleep.
I'll hide me from the sight of day,
And sigh my soul away.
He's gone, his loss deplore,
And I shall never see him more.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

47. Hark! how all things [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Hark! how all things in one sound rejoice.
And the world seems to have one voice.
Hark! how all things in one sound rejoice.


Submitted by Virginia Knight

48. Hark! now the echoing Air [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Hark! now the echoing air a triumph sings.
And all around pleas'd Cupids clap their wings.


Submitted by Virginia Knight

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