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Oh, to vex me, contraryes meet in one: In constancy unnaturally hath begott A constant habit; that when I would not I change in vowes, and in devotione. As humorous is my contritione As my profane Love and as soone forgott: As ridlingly distemper'd, cold and hott, As praying, as mute; as infinite, as none. I durst not view Heav'n yesterday; and today In prayers, and flatt'ring speeches I court God: Tomorrow I quake with true feare of his rod. So my devout fitts come and go away, Like a fantastique Ague: save that here Those are my best dayes, when I shake with feare.
- by John Donne (1572 - 1631), appears in Holy Sonnets, no. 19 [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, to vex me", op. 35 no. 4 (1945), published 1946 [ high voice and piano ], from The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, no. 4 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Geoffrey Burgon (b. 1941), "Oh, to vex me", 2001? [ voice and piano ], from Heavenly Things, no. 4 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Juliana Hall (b. 1958), "Oh, to vex me", 2013, first performed 2014 [ tenor and piano ], from The Holy Sonnets of John Donne - 9 Songs for Tenor and Piano, no. 4 [sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Oh, pour me contrarier", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Daniel Johannsen) , "Ach, um mich zu plagen", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 105
Oh, pour me contrarier, des contraires se rencontrent : Dans la constance, anormalement a produit Une habitude constante ; que quand je ne voudrais pas Je change en serments, et en dévotions. Aussi amusante est ma contrition Que mon amour profane et aussi vite oubliée : Aussi énigmatiquement de mauvaise humeur, froid et chaud, Aussi en prières que muet : aussi infini que nul. Je n'osais pas voir le ciel hier : et aujourd'hui En prières, et en paroles flatteuses je courtise Dieu : Demain je tremble avec une vraie peur de sa baguette. Ainsi mes accès de piété vont et viennent, Comme une fièvre vertigineuse : sauvez ce qui ici Forment mes meilleurs jours, quand je tremble de peur.
- 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.
This text was added to the website: 2011-07-05
Line count: 14
Word count: 120