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Or I shall live your epitaph to make

Language: English

Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten;
From hence your memory death cannot take,
Although in me each part will be forgotten.
Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
When you entombèd in men's eyes shall lie.
Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read,
And tongues to be your being shall rehearse
When all the breathers of this world are dead;
  You still shall live -- such virtue hath my pen --
  Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.

Translation(s): FRE ITA RUS RUS

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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)

Settings in other languages:

Other available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , title 1: "Сонет 81", 1981, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Sia che io resti vivo, il tuo epitaffio a dettare", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo) , no title, from Sonnets de Shakespeare, no. 81, published 1857

Text added to the website: 2003-11-04.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:58
Line count: 14
Word count: 117

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Sia che io resti vivo, il tuo epitaffio a dettare

Language: Italian (Italiano) after the English

Sia che io resti vivo, il tuo epitaffio a dettare
Sia che tu invece sopravviva a me, in terra marcito,
da qui la morte il ricordo di te mai potrà sradicare,
pur se ogni ricordo di me sarà perduto.
Da qui riceverà vita immortale il tuo nome,
pure se io, venuto meno, debba morire al mondo:
conceda pure a me, la terra, solo una fossa comune,
tu in ogni sguardo umano sarai sepolto.
Sarà tuo monumento il mio verso gentile,
che occhi ancora non nati leggeranno,
e della tua esistenza narreranno lingue future
quando quelli che oggi respirano morti saranno.
Tu ancora vivrai -- la mia penna ha virtù tali --
Dove è più vivo il respiro, su labbra mortali.

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  • Translation from English to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2008 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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Text added to the website: 2008-10-26.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:59
Line count: 14
Word count: 118