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Language: English

Unless I learn to ask no help
     From any other soul but mine,
To seek no strength in waving reeds
     Nor shade beneath a straggling pine;
Unless I learn to look at Grief
     Unshrinking from her tear-blind eyes,
And take from Pleasure fearlessly
     Whatever gifts will make me wise --
Unless I learn these things on earth,
Why was I ever given birth?

Translation(s): FRE

List of language codes

Confirmed with Sara Teasdale, Love Songs, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1917, page 49.

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)

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Leçons", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2011-02-13.
Last modified: 2015-10-13 15:53:50
Line count: 10
Word count: 62

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Language: French (Français) after the English

À moins que j''apprenne à ne pas demander d'aide
   À une autre âme que la mienne,
À ne pas chercher de force dans les roseaux ondoyants
   Ni d'ombre sous un pin efflanqué ;
À moins que j'apprenne à regarder le Chagrin
   Dilater ses yeux aveuglés par les larmes,
Et sans crainte prendre du Plaisir
   Je ne sais quels cadeaux me faisant sage,
À moins que sur terre j'apprenne ces choses,
Pourquoi fus-je mise au monde ?

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  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2015 by Pierre Mathé, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on


Text added to the website: 2015-10-13.
Last modified: 2015-10-13 15:54:01
Line count: 10
Word count: 76