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Shakespearean Madrigals, Set 2

Word count: 293

Song Cycle by Joseph W. Baber (b. 1937)

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?. Sigh no more, ladies [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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

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


Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;
[ One foot in sea and one on shore;
To one thing constant never. ]1
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no more,
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
[ The fraud of men was ever so
Since summer first was leavy. ]1
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.


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1 Lines reversed in version set by Fisher

Submitted by Ted Perry

?. Who is Sylvia [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT FIN FRE GER SPA

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (L. A. J. Burgersdijk)
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Kuka on Silvia?", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "À Silvia", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Juan Henríquez Concepción) , "¿Quién es Silvia?", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Who is Silvia? what is she?
That all our Swaines commend her?
Holy, faire, and wise is she.
The heavens such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be.

Is she kinde as she is faire?
For beauty lives with kindnesse:
Love doth to her eyes repaire,
To helpe him of his blindnesse:
And being help'd, inhabits there.

Then to Silvia, let us sing,
That Silvia is excelling;
She excels each mortall thing
Upon the dull earth dwelling.
To her let us Garlands bring.


Confirmed with Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published according to the True Originall Copies. London. Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount. 1623 (Facsimile from the First Folio Edition, London: Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly. 1876), page 33 of the Comedies.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

?. When icicles hang by the wall [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FIN FRE GER

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


When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail;
When blood is nipt and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl:
Tu-who! 
Tu-whit! Tu-who! -- A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw;
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl
Then nightly sings the staring owl:
Tu-who! 
Tu-whit! Tu-who! -- A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.


Submitted by Clive Robinson

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