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Here I stand

Opera details:

Opera title:

The Rake's Progress


Igor Stravinsky




The Rake's Progress Synopsis


The Rake's Progress Libretto


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Aria details:




Tom Rakewell





Previous scene: Anne, my dear
Next scene: Since it is not by merit

The Rake's Progress - Opera in 3 Acts: Act I, Scene 1: Here I Stand - Since It Is Not by Merit

Singer: Eugene Conley

Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment

The Rake's Progress - Opera in 3 Acts: Act I, Scene 1: Here I Stand - Since It Is Not by Merit · Igor Stravinsky · Eugene Conley

Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress

℗ 1953 Sony Music Entertainment

Librettist: W.H. Auden
Librettist: Chester Kallman
Associated Performer: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

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The old fool!

Here I stand, my constitution sound, my frame
not ill-favoured, my wit ready, my heart light.
I play the industrious apprentice in a copybook?
I submit to the drudge's yoke?
I slave through a lifetime to enrich others
and then be thrown away like a gnawed bone? Not I!
Have not grave doctors assured us that good works
are of no avail, for heaven predestines all?
In my fashion, I may profess myself of their party
and herewith entrust myself to Fortune.


Since it is not by merit
we rise or we fall,
but the favour of Fortune
that governs us all,
why should I labour
for what in the end
she will give me for nothing
if she be my friend?
While if she be not,
why, the wealth I might gain
for a time by my toil
would at last be in vain.
Till I die then, of fever,
or by lightning am struck,
let me live by my wits
and trust to my luck.
My life lies before me,
the world is so wide:
come, wishes, be horses
this beggar shall ride.

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