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Since greybeards inform us that youth...

Language: English

Since greybeards inform us that youth will decay,
And pleasure's soft transports glide swiftly away:
The song, and the dance, and the vine, and the fair,
Shall banish all sorrow and shield us from care.
Away with your proverbs, your morals, and rules,
Your proctors, and doctors, and pedants, and schools:
Let's seize the bright moments while yet in our prime,
And fast by the forelock catch old father Time.

Tho' spring's lovely blossoms delight us no more,
Tho' summer forsake us, and autumn be o'er;
To cheer us in winter, remembrance can bring
The pleasures of autumn, and summer, and spring:
So when fleeting seasons bring life's latest stage,
To speak of youth's frolic shall gladden our age:
Then seize the bright moments while yet in our prime,
And fast by the forelock catch old father Time.

Translation(s): FRE GER ITA

List of language codes

Submitted by Ferdinando Albeggiani


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

  • by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827), "Since greybeards inform us that youth will decay", WoO. 153 (20 Irische Lieder mit Begleitung von Pianoforte, Violine und Violoncello) no. 4, G. 224 no. 4, published 1814/6. [voice, piano, violin, violoncello] [
     text verified 1 time

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (G. Pertz) , title 1: "Die Graubärte lehren, daß Jugend vergeht"
  • FRE French (Français) (Isabelle Cecchini) , title 1: "Les vieillards nous le disent", copyright © 2003, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Se un vecchio barbogio solenne ci informa", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2005-01-12.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:11
Line count: 16
Word count: 138

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Les vieillards nous le disent

Language: French (Français) after the English

 Les vieillards nous le disent, jeunesse passera,
 La douceur des plaisirs bien vite s'en ira.
 Que le chant et la danse, la boisson et les jeux
 Bannissent tout chagrin et nous rendent heureux.
 Faisons fi des dictons, des règles, des écoles,
 Des docteurs, des pédants et de leurs paraboles.
 De ces instants précieux, profitons sans tarder,
 Notre prime jeunesse saura le Temps narguer.

 Quand les fleurs du printemps nous auront délaissés,
 L'été nous aura fuis, l'automne abandonnés.
 Pour nous réconforter dans notre hiver frileux
 Les souvenirs plaisants feront nos coeurs joyeux.
 Les saisons fugitives peu à peu nous entraînent.
 Pour réjouir nos coeurs évoquons nos fredaines.
 De ces instants précieux profitez sans tarder,
 Votre prime jeunesse saura le Temps narguer.

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  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2003 by Isabelle Cecchini, (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: 2005-01-18.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:12
Line count: 16
Word count: 121