On the death of Antony

Set by Samuel Barber (1910 - 1981), "On the death of Antony", op. 40 no. 1 (1968), published 1968 [ soprano, women's chorus, and piano ], from Two Choruses from "Anthony and Cleopatra", no. 1  [sung text checked 1 time]

Note: this setting is made up of several separate texts.

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.



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

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

    If it might please ye,--

    [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

    Most sovereign creature,--

    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


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

    Gentle madam, no.

    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


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]