by James Joyce (1882 - 1941)

Of cool sweet dew and radiance mild
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
Of cool sweet dew and radiance mild
The moon a web of silence weaves
In the still garden where a child
Gathers the simple salad leaves.

A moondew stars her hanging hair
And moonlight [kisses]1 her young brow
And, gathering she sings an air:
[Fair as the wave is, fair art thou!]2

Be mine, I pray, a waxen ear
To shield me from her childish croon,
And mine a shielded heart for her
Who gathers simples of the moon.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
First published in Poetry, May 1917
An inscription reads: "O bella bionda!/ Sei come l'onda!"
1 in some editions, "touches"
2 Bliss: "O bella bionda! Sei come l'onda!" (the inscription)


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Simples", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (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: 79