by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

When most I wink, then do mine eyes best...
Language: English 
Available translation(s): CAT ITA
When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow's form form happy show
To the clear [day]1 with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so?
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay?
  All days are nights to see till I see thee,
  And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.

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1 Britten: "days"

Authorship

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:

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Quan més parpellejo, millor hi veuen els meus ulls", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo) , no title, appears in Sonnets de Shakespeare, no. 43, first published 1857
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Più io li tengo chiusi, più i miei occhi son chiari", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:49
Line count: 14
Word count: 122