by Edward Dyer, Sir (1543 - 1607)
Translation © by Ferdinando Albeggiani

The lowest trees have tops
Language: English 
Available translation(s): ITA
The lowest trees have tops, the ant her gall,
The fly her spleen, the little spark his heat,
And slender hairs cast shadows though but small,
And bees have stings although they be not great.
Seas have their source, and so have shallow springs,
And love is love in beggars and in kings.

Where waters smoothest run, deep are the fords,
The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move:
The firmest faith is in the fewest words,
The turtles cannot sing, and yet they love,
True hearts have eyes and ears no tongues to speak:
They hear, and see, and sigh, and then they break.


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

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Cime hanno gli alberi più bassi", copyright © 2009, (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: 12
Word count: 105

Cime hanno gli alberi più bassi
Language: Italian (Italiano)  after the English 
Cime hanno gli alberi più bassi, soffre la formica,
pure la mosca è triste, e la scintilla è rovente,
e un ciuffo di capelli sottili fa ombra, anche se poca,
e le api, anche se piccole, hanno un'arma pungente.
I mari hanno una sorgente, poco profonda pure
Nei poveri e nei re l'amore è sempre amore.
Sotto le acque tranquille, più alto è il fondale,
la meridiana  si muove, ma non si può vedere:
la fede più salda è di poche parole,
le tartarughe non cantano, ma si innamorano pure,
i cuori sinceri hanno occhi e orecchie ma rimangono muti:
Ascoltano, osservano, soffrono, e sono poi spezzati.


  • Translation from English to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2009 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2009-09-21
Line count: 12
Word count: 107