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Sweet Beauty's Best

Lyrics Based on Shakespeare Sonnet 106

Music by Charles Wolff

Real Audio Clip


Shakespeare's Text

When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights,
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have express'd
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And, for they look'd but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
For we, which now behold these present days,
Had eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

Research Notes

My Interpretation

Musical Style Considerations

Lyrical Adaptation

Iambic Pentameter Musical Setting

Adapted Song Lyric

Sweet Beauty's Best

adaptation and music Copyright 1998 Charles Wolff

When in the chronicles of ancient time,
I read descriptions of fairest sights;
Hear beauty spoke in beautiful old rhyme,
In praise of laidies fair and gallant knights -

Then in my vision of sweet beauty's best,
Of foot, of hand, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I wonder how those pens might have expressed
Such a beauty as you master now.

So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, you prefiguring;
And though they looked with all-divining eyes,
Had not the skill enough your worth to sing;

You are my vision of sweet beauty's best,
Of foot, of hand, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I wonder how those pens might have expressed
Such a beauty as you master now.

bridge:
And we who behold these present days
Have eyes to wonder, but lack the tongues to praise.

So for my vision of sweet beauty's best,
Of foot, of hand, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I wonder how those pens might have expressed
Such a beauty as you master now.

Real Audio Clip


Maintained by: Charles Wolff
Last Updated: 4/9/98