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If music be the food of love, play on

Language: English

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.

Translation(s): FRE

List of language codes

J. Hall sets lines 1-7

About the headline (FAQ)

Note: quoted in a text by Heveningham.

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):

Text added to the website: 2009-02-11.
Last modified: 2017-10-11 12:39:24
Line count: 15
Word count: 114

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Si la musique est l'aliment de l'amour,...

Language: French (Français) after the English

Si la musique est l'aliment de l'amour, jouez toujours,
donnez-m'en à l'excès, que ma passion saturée,
en soit malade et expire.
Cette mesure encore une fois ! Elle avait une cadence mourante.
Oh ! elle a effleuré mon oreille comme le suave zéphir
qui souffle sur un banc de violettes,
dérobant et emportant un parfum... Assez ! pas davantage !
Ce n'est plus aussi suave que tout à l'heure.
O esprit d'amour, que tu es sensible et mobile !
Quoique ta capacité soit énorme
comme la mer, elle n'admet rien
de si exquis et de si rare
qui ne soit dégradé et déprécié
au bout d'une minute, tant est pleine de caprices la passion,
cette fantaisie suprême !

About the headline (FAQ)

Submitted by Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]


Based on
  • a text in English by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), no title, appears in Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene 1, Orsino's lines, first published 1601
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): John Linton Gardner, Juliana Hall, Lee Hoiby. Go to the text.

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

    [ None yet in the database ]

Text added to the website: 2010-10-25.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:04
Line count: 15
Word count: 118