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If I make the lashes dark And the eyes more bright And the lips more scarlet, Or ask if all be right From mirror after mirror, No vanity's displayed: I'm looking for the face I had Before the world was made. What if I look upon a man As though on my beloved, And my blood be cold the while And my heart unmoved? Why should he think me cruel Or that he is betrayed? I'd have him love the thing that was Before the world was made.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939), "Before the world was made", appears in The Winding Stair, in A Woman Young and Old, first published 1929 [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 Francis John Routh (b. 1927), "Before the world was made", 1962. [soprano and piano] [text not verified]
- by Owen Underhill (b. 1954), "Before the world was made", 1987 [soprano, cello, and piano], from Yeats Songs, no. 3. [text not verified]
- by James Walter Wilson (b. 1922), "If I made the lashes dark", 1966 [soprano and Irish harp or piano or orchestra], from A Woman Young and Old [text not verified]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2009-01-03
Line count: 16
Word count: 88
Si je fais mes cils plus sombres Et mes yeux plus clairs Et mes lèvres plus rouges Ou demande si tout est bien, De miroir en miroir, Aucune vanité n'est affichée : Je cherche le visage que j'avais Avant que le monde ne soit fait. Qu'importe si je regarde un homme Comme s'il était mon amant, Et qu'en cet instant mon sang soit glacé Et mon cœur indifférent ? Pourquoi devrait-il penser que je suis cruelle Ou qu'il est trahi ? J'aurais voulu qu'il aime la chose qui était.
About the headline (FAQ)Translation of title "Before the world was made" = "Avant que le monde ne soit fait"
- Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2016 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 William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939), "Before the world was made", appears in The Winding Stair, in A Woman Young and Old, first published 1929
This text was added to the website: 2016-01-04
Line count: 15
Word count: 89