Attention! Some of this material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. It is also illegal to reprint copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator.
To inquire about permissions and rates, contact Emily Ezust at
If you wish to reprint translations, please make sure you include the names of the translators in your email. They are below each translation.
Note: You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
Sono del mare bianca la figlia, son di conchiglia pegno d'amor. Nella nativa carcere oscura vivo sicura senza dolor. Madre amorosa mi chiude in seno, fronte sì piena di voluttà. Aura non beo, luce non veggo, eppur non chieggo più libertà. Ahi! se per forza dal fondo mio tolta son io, tratta [lassù]1, a lume giungo, l'aer respiro, ma già sospiro per schiavitù! In vil mercato passo venduta e rivenduta col nuovo sol, chi non si cura di mia bellezza, chi l'accarezza, chi sua la vuol. Finché per ultimo forse in un serto di spin conserta io brillerò, e come lagrima pendula al ciglio, il duol d'esiglio accuserò.
1 Liszt : "la sù" (two scores checked)
- by Prinzessin Therese von Hohenlohe  [author's text not yet checked 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 Franz (Ferenc) Liszt (1811 - 1886), "La perla", S. 326 (1876) [voice and piano], also set in German (Deutsch) [ sung text checked 1 time]
Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:
- Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Theobald Rehbaum (1835 - 1918) ENG ENG FRE ; composed by Franz Liszt.
Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (Garrett Medlock) , "The pearl", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La perle", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]
This text was added to the website: 2011-05-01
Line count: 30
Word count: 108
I am the white daughter of the sea, I am the shell’s token of love. In [my] dark native prison I live safely without pain. [A] loving mother encloses me in her breast, [Her] face so full of delight. I do not [feel the] breeze, I do not see [the] light, but still I do not ask for more freedom. Ah! if by force from my sea-bottom I am taken, brought [up above]1, I receive the light, I breathe the air, but still I sigh for [captivity]! In a base market I pass, sold and resold with the new [day], [someone] who does not care for my beauty, [another] who caresses it, [another] who wants it [for their own]. [Until] at last, perhaps, in a halo [woven] of thorns, I will shine, and like a tear hanging from the eye, the pain of exile I will [take upon myself].
1 Liszt: "there above"
- Translation from Italian (Italiano) to English copyright © 2019 by Garrett Medlock, (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.
This text was added to the website: 2019-05-08
Line count: 30
Word count: 149