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Who is Silvia? what is she? That all our Swaines commend her? Holy, faire, and wise is she. The heavens such grace did lend her, That she might admired be. Is she kinde as she is faire? For beauty lives with kindnesse: Love doth to her eyes repaire, To helpe him of his blindnesse: And being help'd, inhabits there. Then to Silvia, let us sing, That Silvia is excelling; She excels each mortall thing Upon the dull earth dwelling. To her let us Garlands bring.
About the headline (FAQ)
Confirmed with Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published according to the True Originall Copies. London. Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount. 1623 (Facsimile from the First Folio Edition, London: Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly. 1876), page 33 of the Comedies.
- by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "Song", appears in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act IV, Scene 2 [author's text checked 2 times 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 David Werner Amram (b. 1930), "Who is Sylvia?", 1986 [ voice and piano ], from Four Shakespeare Songs, no. 1, C. F. Peters [sung text not yet checked]
- by Godfrey Edward Pellew Arkwright (1864 - 1944), "Who is Silvia?", published [1902?] [ high medium voice and piano ], from Nine Songs from Shakespeare, London, Joseph Williams [sung text not yet checked]
- by Joseph W. Baber (b. 1937), "Who is Sylvia", op. 9 no. ? (1953-6), first performed 1974 [ SATB chorus a cappella ], from Shakespearean Madrigals, Set 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Mary Grant Carmichael (1851 - 1935), "Who is Sylvia", published 1885 [ SA chorus (or vocal duet for soprano and alto) with piano ], from Six Songs for two voices, from Shakespeare (reissued as Six Shakespeare Songs), no. 6, London : J. Curwen & Sons [sung text not yet checked]
- by Peter Dickinson (b. 1934), "Who is Silvia?" [ voice and piano ], confirmed with a concert programme booklet [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Gerald Finzi (1901 - 1956), "Who is Silvia?", op. 18 no. 2 (1929), from Let Us Garlands Bring, no. 2 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by John Linton Gardner (1917 - 2011), "Who is Silvia?", op. 66 no. 2, published 1964 [ women's chorus, piano duet, and optional percussion ], from A Shakespeare Sequence, no. 2, London : Oxford University Press [sung text not yet checked]
- by Juliana Hall (b. 1958), "Who is Silvia?", 2015, first performed 2016 [ counter-tenor and piano ], from O Mistress Mine -- 12 Songs for countertenor and piano on texts from plays by William Shakespeare, no. 4 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Mervyn, Lord Horder, the Second Baron of Ashford (1910 - 1998), "Who is Silvia?", 1985 [ voice and piano ], from Seven Shakespeare Songs, London : Lengnick [sung text not yet checked]
- by Sven Eric Emanuel Johanson (1919 - 1997), "Sylvia", 1974, copyright © 1978 [ mixed chorus and piano ], from Fancies, no. 1, Stockholm : C. Gehrmans Musikförlag ; New York : Walton Music Corp. [sung text not yet checked]
- by Juhani Komulainen (b. 1953), "Who is Silvia?" [ chorus ] [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Noël Lee (1924 - 2013), "To Silvia let us sing", 2006 [ soprano, clarinet and piano ] [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Noël Lee (1924 - 2013), "Who is Silvia?", 1982 [ tenor, clarinet, violoncello, and vibraphone ], from Three Songs from Shakespeare, no. 3 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Roger Quilter (1877 - 1953), "Who is Silvia?", op. 30 no. 1 (1926), published 1933 [ voice and piano ], from Four Shakespeare Songs (Third Set), no. 1, London, Boosey [sung text checked 1 time]
Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:
- Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Eduard von Bauernfeld (1802 - 1890) , "Gesang" ; composed by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Franz Peter Schubert.
Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (L. A. J. Burgersdijk)
- FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Kuka on Silvia?", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "À Silvia", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ITA Italian (Italiano) (Carlo Rusconi) , first published 1859
- SPA Spanish (Español) (Juan Henríquez Concepción) , "¿Quién es Silvia?", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 15
Word count: 85
Dime ¿qué es?, Silvia, ¿Cómo es que los anchos prados te alaban? Bella y maravillosa te veo, siempre cerca, Es una señal de los favores del Cielo, Que se subyugan a ella. ¿Es ella a la vez bello y bueno? Su encanto refresca con la gentileza de un niño, Cupido vive en sus ojos, Allí se cura de su ceguera Y permanece en una dulce calma. Entonces, para Silvia resuena una canción, Para gloria de la preciosa Silvia, Cada encanto le pertenece hace mucho, La Tierra nos lo puede decir, ¡Para ella los ramos y coronas de flores!
- Translation from English to Spanish (Español) copyright © 2008 by Juan Henríquez Concepción, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.
Juan Henríquez Concepción.  Contact: juanhenriquez (AT) ayuntamientodetelde (DOT) orgIf you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
- a text in English by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "Song", appears in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act IV, Scene 2
This text was added to the website: 2008-11-26
Line count: 15
Word count: 98