possibly by John Fletcher (1579 - 1625) and possibly by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Translation © by Julia Hamann

Orpheus with his lute made trees
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER
Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain-tops that freeze,
Bow themselves, when he did sing:	

To his music, plants and flowers
Ever [sprung]1; as sun and showers
There had made a lasting spring.

Everything that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,
Hung their heads, and then lay by.

In sweet music is such art:
Killing care and grief of heart
Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Quoted in Shakespeare's Henry VIII, Act III scene 1
1 Greene: "rose"; Blitzstein: "sprang"


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

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

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 70

Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Orpheus ließ mit seiner Laute
Baum und eis'ge Bergesspitzen
beugen sich, wenn er gesungen.

Auf seine Musik Pflanzen, Blumen
immer sprossen; wie Sonn' und Regen
dort ewigen Frühling schafften.

Alles, was ihn spielen hörte --
selbst Meereswogen
neigten die Kämme und glätteten sich.

Solche Kunst ist in Musik:
furchtbare Sorgen und Herzenskummer
schlafen ein oder: sterben im Hören.


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2007 by Julia Hamann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., please ask the copyright-holder(s) directly.

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Based on


This text was added to the website: 2007-08-28
Line count: 12
Word count: 57