by Alfred Tennyson, Lord (1809 - 1892)
Translation © by Geart van der Meer

And in those days she made a little song
Language: English 
Available translation(s): DUT FRI
[And in those days she made a little song,
And called her song "The Song of Love and Death,"
And sang it: sweetly could she make and sing.]1

 Sweet is true love tho' giv'n in vain, in vain;
 And sweet is death that puts an end to pain:
 I know not which is sweeter, no, not I.

 Love, art thou sweet? then bitter death must be:
 Love, thou art bitter; sweet is death to me.
 O Love, if death [be]2 sweeter, let me die.

 Sweet love, that seems not made to fade away,
 Sweet death, that seems to make us loveless clay,
 I know not which is sweeter, no, not I.

 I fain would follow love, if that could be;
 I needs must follow death, who calls for me;
 Call and I follow, I follow! let me die.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Most of the settings use the song itself; Musical Settings of Early and Mid-Victorian Literature implies that Papini and Mrs. Phillips both use this stanza as well in their settings.
2 Walthew: "is"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Geart van der Meer) , copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRI Frisian (Geart van der Meer) , copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Peter Brixius

This text was added to the website: 2009-01-07
Line count: 15
Word count: 138

De wiere leafde' is swiet, al brekt se...
Language: Frisian  after the English 

"De wiere leafde' is swiet, al brekt se 't hert,
En swiet de dea, dy't ein'get alle smert -
Ik wit net wat it swietste is, ik net. 

Is swiet de leafde, bitter is de dea;
Is leafde bitter, swiet is dan de dea.
As stjerren swieter is, kies ik de dea.

It skynt as ein'get swiete leafde nea,
En makket ús ta deade klaai de dea -
Wat is it swietste: leafde of de dea?
Ik folge leafde' it leafst, mocht ik dy ha;
Ik folgje dochs de dea, dy ropt mij ta.
Kom dan, o! dea en rop mij: ik sis 'ja!' "

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to Frisian copyright © 2013 by Geart van der Meer, (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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2013-04-23
Line count: 15
Word count: 108