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The LiederNet Archive

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Go and catch a falling star

Language: English

Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear,
No where
Lives a woman true and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet,
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.

Translation(s): ITA

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

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):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Va', e cattura una stella cadente", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2005-12-07 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:16

Line count: 27
Word count: 147

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Va', e cattura una stella cadente

Language: Italian (Italiano) after the English

Va', e cattura una stella cadente,
Ingravida una radice di mandragola,
Rivelami dove si trovano gli anni del passato,
O chi il piede del diavolo ha spaccato,
Insegnami a udire delle sirene il canto,
O a evitare dell' invidia il tormento,
E dimmi che hai trovato
Quel vento
Che può ad un animo onesto esser d'aiuto.

Fossi tu nato per visioni strane,
Di  cose invisibili alla vista,
A cavalcare per mille notti  e giorni
Finché la neve degli anni imbianchi la tua  testa,
Allora racconteresti al tuo ritorno,
Di  meraviglie e di bizzarre avventure,
Ma  giureresti
Che non c'è casa
Dove donna sia bella e pur  virtuosa.

Ne trovassi una sola, saperlo vorrei,
In dolce pellegrinaggio mi recherei da lei;
Ma forse, no, meglio rinunciare,
Pure  se abitasse accanto alla mia porta.
Se ancor fosse sincera, quando tu l'hai scoperta,
Mentre tu mi scrivessi per darmene notizia,
Già lei,
prima che io sia arrivato,
la fiducia di due  o di tre avrebbe  tradito.

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.


    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in English by John Donne (1572 - 1631), "Go and catch a falling star"
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Anonymous/Unidentified Artist, Colin Brumby, David Vassall Cox, William Flanagan, Philippe Hersant, Lee Hoiby, Bernard George Stevens. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2006-01-01 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:16

Line count: 27
Word count: 163