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Shakespeare Songs, Book IV

Word count: 254

by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895 - 1968)

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1. 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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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.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lines reversed in version set by Fisher

Submitted by Ted Perry

2. Seals of love [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT DUT FIN FRE FRE FRE FRE GER GER GER GER GER POL

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


Take, o take those lips away,
That so sweetly [were]1 forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights [that]2 do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again;
Seals of love, [but]3 seal'd in vain, sealed in vain.

Hide, o hide those hills of snow
that thy frozen bosom wears,
On whose tops the pinks that grow
are yet of those that April wears;
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.


View original text (without footnotes)
Note: quoted by John Fletcher, in Bloody Brother, 1639 and by William Shakespeare, in Measure for Measure, Act IV, scene 1, c1604 (just one stanza)
1 Bishop: "are"
2 Bishop: "which"
3 Bishop: "tho'"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. O mistress mine [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FIN FRE GER GER GER GER IRI ITA NOR

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

  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Paavo Cajander)
  • FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo)
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (David Paley) , "O Fräulein meins! Woher du wanderst", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "O mia signora", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear, your true love's coming 
That can sing both high and low.

[Trip]1 no [further]2, pretty sweeting;
[Journeys]3 end in lovers' meeting,
Ev'ry wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'Tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:

[In]4 delay there lies no plenty;
Then [come kiss]5 me, sweet and twenty;
Youth's a stuff will not endure.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Korngold: "O trip"
2 [sic] ; and Hall: "farther"
3 Korngold: "For journeyes"
4 Korngold: "And in"
5 Korngold: "come and kiss"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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