by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Translation by François-Victor Hugo (1828 - 1873)

They that have power to hurt, and will...
Language: English 
They that have power to hurt, and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow;
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces,
And husband nature's riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others, but stewards of their excellence.
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself, it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
      For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
      Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-12-05
Line count: 14
Word count: 106

Ceux qui ont le pouvoir de faire le mal...
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Ceux qui ont le pouvoir de faire le mal et ne le font pas, 
ceux qui n'exercent pas la puissance qu'ils semblent le plus avoir ; 
ceux qui, remuant les autres, sont eux-mêmes comme la pierre, 
immuables, froids et lents à la tentation,
Ceux-là héritent légitimement des grâces du ciel 
et économisent les richesses de la nature. 
Ils sont les seigneurs et maîtres de leur visage, 
et les autres ne sont que les intendants de leur excellence.
La fleur de l'été est un parfum pour l'été, 
bien que pour elle-même elle ne fasse que vivre et mourir. 
Mais que cette fleur vienne à se flétrir, 
la plus vile ivraie en éclipsera la valeur.
  Car les plus douces choses s'aigrissent par l'abus, 
  et les lis qui pourrissent sont plus fétides que les ronces.

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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: 2010-08-18
Line count: 14
Word count: 132