Some of the following material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. Printing copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator is also illegal.
You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
For more information, contact us at:
Before writing, please read the instructions below the translations (under Authorship). Always include the names of the translators in your email if you wish to reprint something!
Oh my blacke Soule! now thou art summoned By sicknesse, death's herald, and champion; Thou art like a pilgrim, which abroad hath done Treason, and durst not turne to whence hee is fled, Or like a thiefe, which till death's doome be read, Wisheth himselfe deliver'd from prison; But dam'd and hal'd to execution, Wisheth that still he might be imprisoned. Yet grace, if thou repent, thou canst not lacke; But who shall give thee that grace to beginne? Oh make thyselfe with holy mourning blacke, And red with blushing, as thou are with sinne; Or wash thee in Christ's blood, which hath this might That being red, it dyes red soules to white.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by John Donne (1572 - 1631), no title, appears in Holy Sonnets, no. 4 [author's text checked 1 time 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 (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "Oh my blacke Soule!", op. 35 no. 1 (1945), published 1946 [ high voice and piano ], from The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, no. 1 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Mervyn Burtch (b. 1929), "Oh my blacke Soule!", published 1976 [ four-part mixed chorus a cappella ], from Three Sonnets of John Donne [sung text not yet checked]
- by John Eaton (1935 - 2015), "Oh, my black Soul!", op. 1 no. 3, first performed 1957 [ voice and full orchestra ], from Song Cycle on Holy Sonnets of John Donne, no. 3 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Juliana Hall (b. 1958), "O my blacke Soule", 2013, first performed 2014 [ tenor and piano ], from The Holy Sonnets of John Donne - 9 Songs for Tenor and Piano, no. 1 [sung text checked 1 time]
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: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-08-23 23:03:49
Line count: 14
Word count: 114
Oh, mon âme noire ! maintenant tu es convoquée par La maladie, le héraut et le champion de la mort ; Tu es comme un pèlerin, qui à l'étranger a commis Une trahison, et n'ose pas retourner d'où il a fui. Ou comme un voleur, qui jusqu'à ce que le jugement de mort soit lu, Souhaite lui-même être délivré de la prison ; Mais condamné et traîné vers l'exécution Souhaite être encore emprisonné. Pourtant la grâce, si tu repens, tu ne peux pas la manquer ; Mais qui te donnera cette grâce pour commencer ? Oh fais-toi toi-même noir avec de saintes lamentations Et rouge de honte, comme tu es avec tes péchés ; Ou lave-toi dans le sang du Christ qui a ce pouvoir Qu'étant rouge il change les âmes rouges en blanc.
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.
- a text in English by John Donne (1572 - 1631), no title, appears in Holy Sonnets, no. 4
Text added to the website: 2011-07-05 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:27
Line count: 14
Word count: 134