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Unless I learn to ask no help From any other soul but mine, To seek no strength in waving reeds Nor shade beneath a straggling pine; Unless I learn to look at Grief Unshrinking from her tear-blind eyes, And take from Pleasure fearlessly Whatever gifts will make me wise -- Unless I learn these things on earth, Why was I ever given birth?
Confirmed with Sara Teasdale, Love Songs, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1917, page 49.
- by Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933), "Lessons", appears in Love Songs, in 2. Interlude: Songs out of Sorrow, no. 3, first published 1917 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by John Woods Duke (1899 - 1984), "Lessons", 1967 [mezzo-soprano and piano], from Songs Out of Sorrow, Six Songs for Mezzo-soprano, no. 3, Southern/Texas [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Leçons", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2011-02-13
Line count: 10
Word count: 62
À moins que j''apprenne à ne pas demander d'aide À une autre âme que la mienne, À ne pas chercher de force dans les roseaux ondoyants Ni d'ombre sous un pin efflanqué ; À moins que j'apprenne à regarder le Chagrin Dilater ses yeux aveuglés par les larmes, Et sans crainte prendre du Plaisir Je ne sais quels cadeaux me faisant sage, À moins que sur terre j'apprenne ces choses, Pourquoi fus-je mise au monde ?
- Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2015 by Pierre Mathé, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
- a text in English by Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933), "Lessons", appears in Love Songs, in 2. Interlude: Songs out of Sorrow, no. 3, first published 1917
This text was added to the website: 2015-10-13
Line count: 10
Word count: 76