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I would not have a god come in To shield me suddenly from sin, And set my house of life to rights; Nor angels with bright burning wings Ordering my earthly thoughts and things; Rather my own frail guttering lights Wind blown and nearly beaten out; Rather the terror of the nights And long, sick groping after doubt; Rather be lost than let my soul Slip vaguely from my own control -- Of my own spirit let me be In sole though feeble mastery.
Confirmed with Sara Teasdale, Love Songs, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1917, page 48.
- by Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933), "Mastery", appears in Love Songs, in 2. Interlude: Songs out of Sorrow, no. 2, 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), "Mastery", 1967 [mezzo-soprano and piano], from Songs Out of Sorrow, Six Songs for Mezzo-soprano, no. 2, 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) , "Maîtrise", 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: 13
Word count: 83
Je ne voudrais pas qu'un dieu vînt Pour me protéger soudain du péché, Et mettre la maison de ma vie en ordre ; Ni des anges aux ailes flamboyantes Mettant en ordre mes pensées et objets terrestres ; Plutôt mes propres fragiles lumières vacillantes Malmenées par le vent et presque étouffées ; Plutôt la terreur des nuits Et un long et dégoûtant tâtonnement dans le doute ; Plutôt être perdue que de laisser mon âme Glisser vaguement hors de mon propre contrôle. De mon propre esprit, laissez-moi avoir Seule la maîtrise, si faible soit-elle.
- 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), "Mastery", appears in Love Songs, in 2. Interlude: Songs out of Sorrow, no. 2, first published 1917
This text was added to the website: 2015-10-13
Line count: 13
Word count: 94