by George Herbert (1593 - 1633)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridall of the earth and skie:
The dew shall weep thy fall to night;
                                    For thou must die.

Sweet rose, whose hue angrie and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye:
Thy root is ever in its grave
                                    And thou must die.

Sweet spring, full of sweet dayes and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie;
My musick shows ye have your closes,
                                    And all must die.

Onely a sweet and vertuous soul,
Like season'd timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,
                                    Then chiefly lives.

R. Vaughan Williams sets stanzas 1, 3-4

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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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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 99

Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Doux jour ! si frais, si calme, si brillant,
Le mariage de la terre et du ciel,
La rosée pleurera ta chute ce soir ;
Car tu dois mourir.

Douce rose, dont la teinte de colère et de courage
Ordonne au regard téméraire d'essuyer son œil :
Ta racine est toujours, toujours dans la tombe,
Et tu dois mourir.

Doux printemps : plein de doux jours et roses,
Une boîte où des bonbons gisent serrés,
Ma musique montre que tu as ta fin
Et tous doivent mourir.

Seule une âme douce et vertueuse,
Comme du bois sec, n'abandonne jamais ;
Mais bien que le monde entier devienne du charbon,
Alors surtout elle vit.


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2010 by Guy Laffaille, (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.

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This text was added to the website: 2010-08-01
Line count: 16
Word count: 113