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I speak not ‑‑ I trace not ‑‑ I breathe...

Language: English

I speak not -- I trace not -- I breathe not thy name,
There is grief in the sound, there were guilt in the fame;
But the tear which now burns on my cheek may impart
The deep thoughts that dwell in that silence of heart.

Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace,
Were those hours, can their joy or their bitterness cease?
We repent -- we abjure -- we will break from our chain,
We will part -- we will fly -- to unite it again!

Oh! thine be the gladness, and mine be the guilt!
Forgive me adored one -- forsake if thou wilt;
But the heart which I bear shall expire undebased,
And man shall not break it -- whatever thou may'st.

And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee,
My soul, in its bitterest blackness shall be;
And our days seem as swift -- and our moments more sweet
With thee by my side -- than the world at our feet.

One sigh of thy sorrow -- one look of thy love
Shall turn me or fix, shall reward or reprove;
And the heartless may wonder at all we resign,
Thy lip shall reply not to them -- but to mine.

Translation(s): FRE

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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):

Text added to the website: 2009-08-08.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:19
Line count: 20
Word count: 197

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Language: French (Français) after the English

Je ne dis pas, je n'écris pas, je ne murmure pas ton nom:
le son m'en serait pénible; je serais coupable de le divulguer.
Mais cette larme qui brûle ma joue décèle
les pensées profondes qui assiègent mon cœur silencieux.

Ces heures ont été trop courtes pour notre passion, trop longues pour notre repos ! -- 
Leur joie ou leur amertume pourrait-elle cesser ?
Nous nous repentons, -- nous abjurons notre amour, -- nous voulons rompre notre chaîne,-
nous voulons nous séparer, -- nous voulons nous fuir -- pour nous unir encore !

Oh ! que le bonheur t'appartienne, que la faute ne soit qu'à moi !
Pardonne-moi, femme adorée ! -- oublie-moi, si tu veux; -- 
mais ce cœur qui est à toi expirera sans s'abaisser ou s'avilir:
et jamais homme ne le brisera; -- quoique toi tu en aies le pouvoir.

Fière avec les superbes, mais humble avec toi,
sera toujours cette ame, dans sa noirceur la plus amère.
Quand tu es à mes côtés, les jours passent plus rapidement;
et tous les momens me paraissent plus doux que si des mondes étaient à mes pieds.

Un soupir de ta douleur, un regard de ton amour,
fixera, changera mon sort. Ceux qui n'ont point
d'ame s'étonneront de tout ce que j'abandonne pour
toi; tes lèvres répondront, non aux leurs, mais aux miennes.

Submitted by Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]


Based on
  • a text in English by George Gordon Noel Byron, Lord Byron (1788 - 1824), "I speak not -- I trace not -- I breathe not", appears in Hebrew Melodies, no. 26, first published 1815
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Anonymous/Unidentified Artist, Arthur Edmund Grimshaw, Cyril Bertram Lander, Isaac Nathan, George Schmidt. 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: 2012-01-15.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:45
Line count: 20
Word count: 216