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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 (Fran├žais) (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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Se un vecchio barbogio solenne ci informa

Language: Italian (Italiano) after the English

Se un vecchio barbogio solenne ci informa
Che passan le gioie e che niente ritorna,
Allora con danze e vino e bellezza
Cacciamo gli affanni e fuggiamo tristezza.
Basta proverbi, e morale, e doveri,
lezioni pedanti, e censori, e dottori,
Lasciate che io colga un felice momento
E acciuffi per poco il vecchio padre Tempo.

E se primavera non più ci fa lieti,
se estate e autunno ormai son passati,
la dolce memoria l'inverno ha scaldato
pensando ai piaceri del tempo passato;
e quando, arrivati alla estrema stagione,
ci danno i ricordi una lieta emozione,
allora che io colga il  felice momento
e acciuffi per poco il vecchio padre Tempo.

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 from English to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2005 by Ferdinando Albeggiani, (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: 2005-01-19.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:12
Line count: 16
Word count: 110