by Sophie Jewett (1861 - 1909), as Ellen Burroughs
Translation © by José Miguel Llata

The Poet's Life
Language: English 
Available translation(s): SPA
A poet sang, so light of heart was he,
A song that thrilled with joy in ev'ry word:
It quiver'd with ecstatic melody;
It laughed as sunshine laughs upon the sea;
It caught a measure from each lilting bird;
But, though the song rang out exultantly,
The world pass'd by, with heavy step and loud,
None heeding, save that, parted from the crowd,
Two lovers heard.

There fell a day when sudden sorrow smote
The poet's life. Unheralded it came,
Blotting the sun-touch'd page whereon he wrote
His golden song. Ah! then, from all remote,
He sang the grief that had nor hope nor name
In God's ear only; but one sobbing note
Reached the world's heart, and swiftly, in the wake
Of bitterness and passionate heart-break,
There follow'd fame.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Ed. Sachs ; composed by Edward Elgar, Sir.

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

  • SPA Spanish (Español) (José Miguel Llata) , "La vida de poeta", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 18
Word count: 130

La vida de poeta
Language: Spanish (Español)  after the English 
Un poeta cantaba, con el corazón alegre,
una canción que llenaba de alegría con cada palabra;
estremecía con melodía extasiada;
reía como el sol ríe sobre el mar;
tomaba un verso de cada pájaro cantarín.
Pero, aunque la canción seguía exultante, 
el mundo pasaba de largo con ruidoso y pesado paso,
sin percatarse de ello, excepto dos amantes apartados de la multitud,
que la escucharon.

Llegó un día en que una pena repentina golpeó
la vida del poeta. Llegó sin anunciarse.
borrando la página tocada por el sol donde había escrito 
su dorada canción.
¡Ah!, entonces desde lo más recóndito
cantó la pena sin nombre ni esperanza,
solo para los oídos de Dios. Pero una triste nota alcanzó el corazón del mundo,
y con celeridad, al despertar amargura y apasionado romper de corazones,
le trajo la fama.


  • Translation from English to Spanish (Español) copyright © 2020 by José Miguel Llata, (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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2020-10-05
Line count: 18
Word count: 137