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The LiederNet Archive

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The quality of mercy is not strained

Language: English

The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘T is mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice. [Therefore, Jew, 
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation:]1 we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. [I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there.]1

Translation(s): FRE FRE POL SPA

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Hoiby.

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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

Text added to the website: 2015-02-14 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2015-04-12 21:57:43

Line count: 22
Word count: 173

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Łaska nic nie ma wspólnego z przymusem

Language: Polish (Polski) after the English

Łaska nic nie ma wspólnego z przymusem,
Jak deszcz ożywczy z nieba spływa ona
Z swych wysokości na ziemię; podwakroć
Błogosławiona: błogosławi bowiem
Tego, co daje i tego, co bierze.
Tem potężniejsza, im z potężniejszego
Płynie ramienia, przyozdabia ona
Władcę na tronie bardziej niż korona.
Berło oznacza moc światowej władzy:
Jest ono godłem czci i majestatu,
W którym ukryty postrach winnych siedzi;
Lecz łaska wyższą jest nad rządy berła,
Zajmuje ona tron w sercu monarchy,
Wzniosłym udziałem jest samego Bóstwa;
I ziemska wsadza najbardziej się wtedy
Zbliża do Boskiej, gdy jej łaska idzie
Z sprawiedliwością w parze. Zważ więc, żydzie,
Skoro domagasz się sprawiedliwości,
Ze sprawiedliwie rzeczy biorąc, nikt z nas
Nie byłby zbawion. Modlim się o łaskę;
Ta więc modlitwa powinna nas uczyć
Świadczenia łaski. Rozwiodłem się tyle,
By sprawiedliwość żądań twych złagodzić;
Trwać-li w nich będziesz, surowa ta izba
Będzie musiała naturalnie wydać
Wyrok na stronę kupca niekorzystny.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Dzieła Wiliama Szekspira Tom VII, with translations by Józef Paszkowski and Jan Kasprowicz, Lwów, Księgarnia Polska, 1895, page 71.

Submitted by Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]


Based on

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: 2019-05-14 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2019-05-16 13:23:50

Line count: 26
Word count: 150