by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822)
Translation © by Ferdinando Albeggiani

He came like a dream in the dawn of life
Language: English 
Available translation(s): ITA
He came like a dream in the dawn of life,
[He]1 fled like a shadow before its noon;
He is gone, and [my]2 peace is turned to strife,
And I wander and wane like the weary moon.
O, sweet Echo, wake, 
And for my sake
Make answer the while my heart shall break!

But my heart has a music which Echo's lips,
Though tender and true, yet can answer not,
And the shadow that moves in the soul's eclipse
Can return not the kiss by his now forgot;
Sweet lips! he who hath
On my desolate path
Cast the darkness of absence, worse than death!

H. McDonald sets stanza 1

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, with His Life, vol. 1, London: John Ascham, 1834, page 86.

1 McDonald: "and he"
2 McDonald: "all my"


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Frammenti di un dramma incompiuto", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2005-01-27
Line count: 14
Word count: 105

Frammenti di un dramma incompiuto
Language: Italian (Italiano)  after the English 
Venne come un sogno all'alba della vita
Si dileguò come un'ombra prima del meriggio;
E' andato via, e la mia pace si è fatta tormento
Ed io declino come luna al tramonto.
O, dolce Eco, destati
e per amor mio
dai una risposta al cuore mio che si spezza!

Ma il mio cuore ha una musica cui le labbra di Eco,
pure se dolci e sincere, non possono dare risposta,
e l'ombra che si muove nell'eclissi dell'anima
non può restituire il bacio ormai dimenticato;
Dolci labbra! Egli ha gettato,
sul mio cammino desolato,
il buio dell'assenza, della morte peggiore!


  • Translation from English to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2013 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.

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This text was added to the website: 2013-03-28
Line count: 14
Word count: 99