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When I consider how my light is spent

Language: English

When I consider how my [light]1 is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask; But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait."

Translation(s): GER ITA

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Finzi: "life"

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):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , title 1: "Sonett XIX: Wenn ich bedenke, wie mein Licht verblich", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title unknown, copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2008-01-08.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:59
Line count: 14
Word count: 113

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Quando, alle mie luci perdute, torno a...

Language: Italian (Italiano) after the English

Quando, alle mie luci perdute, torno a pensare,         
e come, a mezzo della vita, il vasto mondo si è spento, 
e come a morte assomiglia celare un talento           
che giace inutile in me, mentre il Creatore             
vorrei servire con tutto me stesso, e così dimostrare,  
per tema di un rimprovero, quanto davvero valgo:        
"Pretende ancora Dio il mio lavoro?" - Allora mi domando.
Stolta questione. L'indulgenza ha pronta la risposta         
per prevenirla: Dio non ha bisogno              
dei regali degli uomini o della loro fatica.              
Meglio lo serve  chi il suo dolce giogo sopporta.         
Il suo stato è regale: migliaia, a un suo comando,         
terre e mari percorrono veloci e senza posa.             
Ma pure lo serve chi, accanto a Lui, è in attesa.

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About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2010 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 John Milton (1608 - 1674), "Sonnet XIX" GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Gerald Finzi. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2010-03-25.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:37
Line count: 14
Word count: 122