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!
When I do count the clock that tells the time, And see the brave day sunk in hideous night; When I behold the violet past prime, And sable curls, all silvered o'er with white; When lofty trees I see barren of leaves, Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, And summer's green all girded up in sheaves, Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard, Then of thy beauty do I question make, That thou among the wastes of time must go, Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake And die as fast as they see others grow; And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), no title, appears in Sonnets, no. 12 [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 David Llewellyn Green , "When I do count the clock that tells the time", published 1986 [mezzo-soprano or baritone and piano], from Five Songs of Sorrow and Reconciliation, no. 2 [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928 - 2016), "XII (When I do count the clock that tells the time)", op. 14 no. 2 (1952), published 1973, first performed 1953 [soprano and piano], from Three Sonnets of Shakespeare, no. 2 [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Richard Simpson (1820 - 1876), "Sonnet XII", 1864 [medium voice and piano] [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by David Winkler , "When I do count the clock that tells the time", 1877 [satb chorus and piano], from Two Choral Pieces, no. 2 [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:
- Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Samuil Yakovlevich Marschak (1887 - 1964) , "Сонет 12" FRE FRE ITA ; composed by Grigorii Samuilovich Frid.
Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (François Pierre Guillaume Guizot) , appears in Œuvres Complètes de Shakspeare Volume VIII, in Sonnets, no. 12, first published 1863
- FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo) , no title, appears in Sonnets de Shakespeare, no. 12, first published 1857
- ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Quando considero il pendolo, che il tempo scandisce...", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Text added to the website: 2007-10-08 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:29
Line count: 14
Word count: 118
Quando considero il pendolo, che il tempo scandisce, e il giorno valoroso vedo annegare nei notturni orrori, e osservo la viola che rapida appassisce, e imbiancarsi d'argento i tuoi riccioli neri; Quando ritrovo senza più foglie quelle piante elevate che un tempo al gregge schermavano la calura, e imprigionato in covoni il verde dell'estate, in carri come in bare trasportato, peluria secca e dura, Allora mi interrogo sulla tua bellezza, ché pure tu fra i rifiuti del tempo svanirai presto, perché ogni cosa bella e dolce tradisce se stessa, e muore, a un'altra che nasce cedendo il posto. E niente potrà difenderti contro la falce del Tempo, Se non un figlio pronto a difenderti quando verrà il momento.
- Translation from English to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2011 by Ferdinando Albeggiani, (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 William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), no title, appears in Sonnets, no. 12
Text added to the website: 2011-11-11 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:41
Line count: 14
Word count: 118