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To me, fair friend, you never can be old

Language: English

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey'd,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'd,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot [Junes]1 burn'd,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv'd;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd:
  For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:
  Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.

Translation(s): FRE ITA

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1 Crabtree: "Augusts"

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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

Text added to the website: 2007-10-15.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:29
Line count: 14
Word count: 117

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Per me, mio dolce amico, non potrai mai invecchiare

Language: Italian (Italiano) after the English

Per me, mio dolce amico, non potrai mai invecchiare 
Perché, com' eri quando in principio il tuo sguardo ho incrociato,
Tale, ancora oggi, la tua bellezza mi appare. 
Tre freddi inverni, del vanto di tre estati, i boschi hanno spogliato
tre splendide primavere sono ingiallite in Autunno,
e, nel mutare delle stagioni, ho potuto osservare
tre profumi d'Aprile bruciare nel calore di Giugno,
da quando ti vidi in fiore, e giovane restare.
Ah! Tuttavia la bellezza, come di meridiana un'ombra,
La sua immagine ruba, senza che il moto si noti;
E così la tua dolce immagine, che immutata mi sembra,
E' mutevole pure, ed inganna i miei occhi.
Per questo triste caso tu, epoca non nata, ascolta:
Prima del tuo avvento, l'estate di bellezza è morta.

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  • Translation from English to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2007 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
  • a text in English by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), no title, appears in Sonnets, no. 104 FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Leslie Crabtree, Richard Simpson, Claudio Spies. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2007-10-27.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:29
Line count: 14
Word count: 126