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O! how much more doth beauty beauteous seem By that sweet ornament which truth doth give? The rose looks fair, but fairer [we it]1 deem [For]2 that sweet odour, which doth in it live. The canker blooms have full as deep a dye As the perfumed tincture of the roses, Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly When summer's breath their masked buds discloses: But, for [their]3 virtue only is their show, They live unwoo'd, and unrespected fade; Die [to]4 themselves. Sweet roses do not so; Of their sweet deaths, are sweetest odours made: And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth, When that shall fade, by verse distills your truth.
F. Lygon sets lines 1-12
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
See also Mobile for Shakespeare by Roman Haubenstock-Ramati
1 Faith: "it we"
2 Faith: "By"
3 omitted by Faith.
4 Faith: "unto"
- by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), no title, appears in Sonnets, no. 54 [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 Richard Bruce Faith (b. 1926), "Sonnet LIV" [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Frederick Lygon , "Oh how much more doth beauty beauteous seeme", published , lines 1-12 [ ATTB chorus and piano ], glee; London : Novello ; from the score: "2nd prize Catch Club, 22 June 1866" [sung text not yet checked]
- by Richard Simpson (1820 - 1876), "Sonnet LIV", 1864 [ medium voice and piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo) , no title, appears in Sonnets de Shakespeare, no. 54, first published 1857
- GER German (Deutsch) (Richard Flatter) , appears in Die Fähre, Englische Lyrik aus fünf Jahrhunderten, first published 1936
- ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Sonetto LIV", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller
This text was added to the website: 2005-06-22
Line count: 14
Word count: 112
Quanto più bella appare la bellezza Per il dolce ornamento che la virtù le dona; E' leggiadra la rosa, ma più leggiadra si apprezza Per ciò che in essa vive: il delizioso aroma. Ha la rosa canina colore tanto vivo Quanto il colore della profumata rosa, E' pur essa spinosa e con egual gioco lascivo al vento dell'estate schiude i boccioli ascosi: Ma, poiché nel solo apparire la sua virtù riposa Non corteggiata vive, ed appassisce presto Per poi morire sola. Ma non così la rosa, Dalla sua dolce morte più dolce profumo resta: E così pure di te, creatura giovane e bella, Quando quella svanisca, la virtù il mio verso distilla.
- Translation from English to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2005 by Ferdinando Albeggiani, (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 Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), no title, appears in Sonnets, no. 54
This text was added to the website: 2005-08-14
Line count: 14
Word count: 112