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The LiederNet Archive

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Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths

Language: English

Had I the [heavens']1 embroidered cloths
Enwrought with golden and silver light
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Translation(s): FRE GER HUN

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About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Original title is "Aedh wishes for the cloths of heaven"; revised 1906; re-titled "He wishes for the cloths of heaven".

Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 45.

1 Gurney: "Heaven's"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Bertram Kottmann , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission FRE HUN ; composed by Gary Bachlund.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Tamás Rédey) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2015-12-27 17:07:21

Line count: 8
Word count: 60

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Language: German (Deutsch) after the English

Hätt' ich der Himmel besticktes Tuch,
durchwoben von Gold- und Silberlicht,
das blaue, verblasste, dunkle Tuch
aus Abend-, Dämmer-, Tageslicht,
dann würd’ ich es breiten unter dir:
Doch arm, der ich bin, hab ich nur meinen Traum,
den ich gebreitet hab unter dir;
behutsam - du wandelst auf meinem Traum.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

Translation of title "Cloths of heaven" = "Himmelstuch"

Submitted by Bertram Kottmann


Based on
  • a text in English by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939), title 1: "Aedh wishes for the cloths of heaven", title 2: "He wishes for the cloths of heaven", appears in The Wind among the reeds, first published 1899 FRE HUN
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Frederic Austin, Gary Bachlund, Herbert Bedford, Brian Boydell, William Denis Browne, Colin Brumby, John Wallace Carter, Rebecca Clarke, Thomas Frederick Dunhill, Steven Ebel, Joseph Eidson, Dilys Elwyn-Edwards, née Roberts, Richard B. Evans, Ivor Gurney, Maitland Harvey, Paavo Heininen, Gordon Kerry, Nicholas Marshall, Hugh Stevenson Roberton, Sir, Richard Roderick-Jones, Landon Ronald, Sir, Douglas MacDonald Stewart, John Kenneth Tavener, Clyde Van Nuys Fogel, Peter Warlock. Go to the text.

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Text added to the website: 2014-10-19 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2016-12-27 10:09:00

Line count: 8
Word count: 50