Let us, my Lesbia, live and love (John Stafford Smith)

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  • (Posted 2021-10-04)  CPDL #66067:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2021-10-04).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 140 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download.
  • (Posted 2011-08-19)  CPDL #24187:        (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Jonathan Goodliffe (submitted 2011-08-19).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 41 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Let us, my Lesbia, live and love
Composer: John Stafford Smith

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: ATB
Genre: SecularGlee

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1781 in Warren's eighteenth collection of glees, etc
Description: 3 part glee for ATB to an anonymous poem translated from CatullusLink to the English Wikipedia article.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Let us, my Lesbia live and love,
nor cast a moment's thought away,
whether a peevish world approve,
or what they think, or what they say.
The sun that sets shall rise again,
but when our short lived day is o'er,
one long eternal night must reign,
a lasting sleep to wake no more.
Let us then live and love today
and kiss the fleeting hours away.

Spanish.png Spanish text

Translation in verse by Cristóbal de Castillejo (1495-1550)
Dame, Amor, besos sin cuento,
asida de mis cabellos,
y mil y ciento tras ellos
y tras ellos mil y ciento,
y después
de muchos millares, tres;
y porque nadie lo sienta,
desbaratemos la cuenta
y contemos al revés.

Latin.png Latin text

The original poem from which the above translation derives.
By Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84 BC – ca. 54 BC) in hendecasyllabic verse.
Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!
soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,
conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus inuidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.