by Anonymous / Unidentified Author
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

In darkness let me dwell
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
In darkness let me dwell, the ground shall sorrow be,
The roof despair to bar all cheerful light from me,
The walls of marble black that moistened still shall weep,
My music hellish jarring sounds to banish friendly sleep:
Thus wedded to my woes, and bedded [in]1 my tomb
[O let me dying live till death doth come]2.

My dainties grief shall be, and tears my poisoned wine,
My sighs the air through which my panting heart shall pine,
My robes my mind shall suit exceeding blackest night,
My study shall be tragic thoughts sad fancy to delight,
Pale ghosts and frightful shades shall my acquaintance be:
O thus, my hapless joy, I haste to thee.

J. Dowland sets stanza 1

View original text (without footnotes)
Lyrics from the Song-Books of the Elizabethan Age, ed. by A. H. Bullen, London, John C. Nimmo, 1887, pages 53-54.

1 Dowland: "to"
2 Dowland: "O, let me living die, till death do come"


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 116

Dans l'obscurité, que je demeure, le sol...
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Dans l'obscurité, que je demeure, le sol sera ma douleur,
Le toit le désespoir pour exclure toute lumière joyeuse de moi,
Les murs de marbre noir qui sont humides pleureront toujours,
Ma musique produira des sons discordants et infernaux pour éloigner le sommeil amical.
Ainsi marié à mes malheurs et couché dans ma tombe,
Oh, que je meure vivant, jusqu'à l'arrivée de la mort.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2011 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2011-03-02
Line count: 6
Word count: 64