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A woman's face with nature's own hand painted, Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion; A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted With shifting change, as is false women's fashion: An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling, Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth; A man in hue all hues in his controlling, Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth. And for a woman wert thou first created; Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting, And by addition me of thee defeated, By adding one thing to my purpose nothing. But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure, Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), no title, appears in Sonnets, no. 20 [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 Wolfgang Fortner (1907 - 1987), "A woman's face with nature's own hand painted", 1981, published c1982 [tenor and piano], from Widmungen : aus den Sonetten von William Shakespeare, no. 1, Mainz ; New York : Schott [text not verified]
- by Richard Simpson (1820 - 1876), "Sonnet XX", 1864. [baritone and piano] [text not verified]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo) , no title, from Sonnets de Shakespeare, no. 20, published 1857
- ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Viso di donna, che Natura stessa ha dipinto", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (François Pierre Guillaume Guizot) , no title, from Oeuvres Complètes de Shakspeare Volume VIII, in Sonnets, no. 20, published 1863
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2007-10-12
Line count: 14
Word count: 114
Viso di donna, che Natura stessa ha dipinto, possiedi tu, Sire e Signora della mia passione, cuore gentile di donna, ma che non segue l'istinto dell'incostanza, che delle false donne è costume: e sguardo più del loro vivo, al falso meno incline, che fa apparire d'oro l'oggetto su cui indugia; uomo all'aspetto, che supera tutte le forme umane, che agli uomini lo sguardo, e l'anima alla donna ruba. Tu come donna fosti in principio creato; Ma poi Natura, creandoti, di te vaga si fece e, con un tocco in più, fosti a me rubato perché ti aggiunse strumento che ai miei fini non piace. Ma poiché eretto ti fece per far le donne godere, sia di quelle il piacere, ma mio rimanga il tuo amore.
- Translation from English to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2012 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. 20
This text was added to the website: 2012-02-11
Line count: 14
Word count: 125