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I was angry with my friend

Language: English

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I water'd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.

And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole,
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.

Translation(s): FRE GER

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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)

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Un arbre empoisonné", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Ein Giftbaum", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:21
Line count: 16
Word count: 101

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Un arbre empoisonné

Language: French (Français) after the English

J'étais en colère contre mon ami :
Je dis ma colère, ma colère finit.
J'étais en colère contre mon ennemi :
Je ne la dis pas, ma colère grossit.

Et je l'arrosai dans la peur
Nuit et jour avec mes larmes ;
Et je l'ensoleillais avec des sourires
Et avec de doux manèges fourbes.

Et il grandit le jour et la nuit,
Jusqu'à ce qu'il porte une pomme brillante.
Et mon ennemi la vit briller,
Et il savait qu'elle était à moi.

Et il la vola dans mon jardin
Quand la nuit eut voilé l'étoile polaire,
Le matin joyeux je vois
Mon ennemi étendu sous l'arbre.

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  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2009 by Guy Laffaille, (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 Blake (1757 - 1827), "The poison tree", appears in Songs of Innocence and Experience, in Songs of Experience, no. 21, first published 1794 GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): William Alwyn, George Antheil, Athanasios Aronis, William Bolcom, Hayg Boyadjian, Benjamin Britten, Elyse Donathan Curtis, Sharon Davis, Ole Carsten Green, Christine Jurasek, Tõnu Kalam, David Stevenson Kechley, David Krane, Beverly Jean Magnuson, Sarah L. Rodgers, Masters van Someren-Godfery, John Austin Sykes, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Richard Wernick, James N. Wise. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2009-06-26.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:16
Line count: 16
Word count: 106