Two Choruses from "Anthony and Cleopatra"

Song Cycle by Samuel Barber (1910 - 1981)

Word count: 67

1. On the death of Antony

Note: this is a multi-text setting


Cleopatra
Noblest of men, woo't die?
Hast thou no care of me? [shall I abide
In this dull world, which in thy absence is
No better than a sty?]1 O see, my women,

  (Mark Antony dies)

The crown o' the earth doth melt. My lord!
O wither'd is the garland of the war,
The soldier's pole is fall'n: young boys and girls
Are level now with men; the odds is gone,
And there is nothing left remarkable
Beneath the visiting moon.

(Faints)

Authorship

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La mort d'Antoine", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)

See also Thomas Pasatieri's setting {link:1116714}Antony and Cleopatra.

1 omitted by Barber.

Researcher for this text: Ivan Nunes


CLEOPATRA
    I [dream'd]1 there was an Emperor Antony:
    O, such another sleep, that I might see
    But such another man!

DOLABELLA
    If it might please ye,--

CLEOPATRA
    [His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck
    A sun and moon, which kept their course, and lighted
    The little O, the earth.]2

DOLABELLA
    Most sovereign creature,--

CLEOPATRA
    His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm
    Crested the world: [his voice was propertied
    As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
    But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
    He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
    There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas
    That grew the more by reaping:]2 his delights
    Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above
    The element they lived in: [in his livery
    Walk'd crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
    As plates dropp'd from his pocket.]2

DOLABELLA
    Cleopatra!

CLEOPATRA
    Think you there was, or might be, such a man
    As this I dream'd of?

DOLABELLA
    Gentle madam, no.

CLEOPATRA
    You lie, up to the hearing of the gods.
    But, if there be, or ever were, one such,
    It's past the size of dreaming: [nature wants stuff
    To vie strange forms with fancy; yet, to imagine
    And Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy,
    Condemning shadows quite.]2

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

View original text (without footnotes)

Note: Mollicone's setting omits all of Dolabella's lines; Barber's includes only "Gentle madam, no". Mollicone's setting ends "As plates dropp'd from his pocket"

1 Barber: "dream't"
2 omitted by Barber.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. On the death of Cleopatra [sung text checked 1 time]

Take up her bed,
She looks like sleep,
As she would catch another Antony
In her strong toil of grace.

Take up her bed,
She looks like sleep,
And bear her women from the monument.
She shall be buried by her Antony.
No grave on earth shall clasp in it
A pair so famous.
Our army shall
In solemn show attend this funeral,
And then to Rome.

Authorship

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La mort de Cléopâtre", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ivan Nunes