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Bright star, would I were steadfast as...

Language: English

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art -
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite

The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains, and the moors -

No - yet still steadfast, still unchangeable, 
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake forever in a sweet unrest,

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever - or else swoon to death.

Translation(s): ITA

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First published in Plymouth and Devonport Weekly Journal, September 1838, headed "Sonnet"

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: "Lucente stella, esser potessi come te costante", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2004-05-02.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:05
Line count: 14
Word count: 106

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Lucente stella, esser potessi come te costante

Language: Italian (Italiano) after the English

Lucente stella, esser potessi come te costante --
non però, in solitario splendore, sospeso nella notte,
con occhio in eterno aperto, a osservare distante
come di natura eremita, paziente e insonne,

le mutevoli acque al sacro compito intente
di pure abluzioni attorno alle spiagge umane,
o a scrutare la maschera, discesa lievemente,
di nuova neve, su brughiere o colline --

No -- sempre costante, senza un cambiamento,
adagiarmi vorrei sul seno generoso del mio amore,
sentendolo abbassarsi e sollevarsi lento,
in dolce inquietudine e senza mai dormire,

Così sempre, e per sempre, il suo lieve respiro sentire
e vivere in eterno -- o, in estasi,  morire.

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 © 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 Keats (1795 - 1821), no title, written 1819?
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Frederick Shepherd Converse, Michael G. Cunningham, Quinto Maganini, Jan Meyerowitz, Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, Sir, Solomon Pimsleur, Betty Roe, Christopher Shaw, Roger Guy Steptoe, Robert Still, Rudolph T. Werther. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2010-04-13.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:38
Line count: 14
Word count: 102