Sonnets de soleil, de sanglots - Four Songs from Shakespeare

Song Cycle by Noël Lee (1924 - 2013)

Word count: 456

1. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? [sung text checked 1 time]

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
[Sometime]1 too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to [time thou growest]2:
  [So long]3 as men [can]4 breathe or eyes can see,
  So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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

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1 Wilkinson: "Sometimes"
2 Aikin: "times thou grow'st"
3 Wilkinson: "As long"
4 Aikin: "shall"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Johann Winkler

2. That time of year thou mayst in me behold [sung text checked 1 time]

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
  This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
  To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (L. A. J. Burgersdijk)
  • FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo) , no title, appears in Sonnets de Shakespeare, no. 73, first published 1857
  • FRI Frisian [singable] (Geart van der Meer) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Sonnetto LXXIII", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Сонет 73", written 1981, Sonnet 073, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. My love is as a fever [sung text checked 1 time]

My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease,
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
[The uncertain]1 sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now Reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are,
At random from the truth vainly express'd;
  For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright,
  Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

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

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1 Diamond: "Th'uncertain"

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

4. When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes [sung text checked 1 time]

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
  For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
  That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]