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

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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: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: a cappella
Published: c. 1805

Description: 3 part glee to an anonymous poem translated from Catullus. Probably intended for ATB male voices.

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.


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.