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but one

English translation: only one

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:but one
English translation:only one
Entered by: John Holland
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10:26 Nov 26, 2013
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Francis William Bourdillon
English term or phrase: but one
What is meant here by the author under that expression? I presume, he meant "but one thing", and neither "but one eye" nor "but an eye". References to translations of the rhyme into German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian are welcomed, as well as ones to critics, theorists of literature, literary historians in English, German, Spanish and French, if any. This text was translated for the first time into Russian in 1974 (I'm the 2nd translator of it AFAIK :), and the translator which probably didn't know English, judging by the data available, used a lineal translation of the other unknown translator. So he meant in both cases "but one eye" i. e. "but an eye" which doen]t sound correct enough to me/
I can imagine a one-eyed day (when it is sunny), but "Love is blind", so one-eyed love is not the most attractive view IMHO.

MTIA


The Night Has a Thousand Eyes



The night has a thousand eyes,
:::And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
:::With the dying sun.

The mind has a thousand eyes,
:::And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies
:::When love is done.

Francis William Bourdillon
(22 March 1852 – 13 January 1921)
Сергей Лузан
Russian Federation
Local time: 01:16
only one
Explanation:
"But one" is a formal way of saying "only one."

I believe the poet is referring to the stars of the night sky and the sun which shines during the day, with the metaphor that they are eyes. The night sky has a thousand eyes/stars and the day only one eye/the sun.

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Note added at 23 mins (2013-11-26 10:49:28 GMT)
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Tony M makes a very good comment about "eye" already being a kind of metaphor for a point of view or perspective.

So, for the second stanza, it would mean that, where love and the loss of love are concerned, we can have many different ideas and entertain (or even talk ourselves into) many different points of view, but our heart alone knows the real, singular truth of what we feel.
Selected response from:

John Holland
France
Local time: 00:16
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +11only one
John Holland
3 +7just one
cynthiatesser
5here it means "single."
acetran
Summary of reference entries provided
Versions
Charles Davis

Discussion entries: 9





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +11
only one


Explanation:
"But one" is a formal way of saying "only one."

I believe the poet is referring to the stars of the night sky and the sun which shines during the day, with the metaphor that they are eyes. The night sky has a thousand eyes/stars and the day only one eye/the sun.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 23 mins (2013-11-26 10:49:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Tony M makes a very good comment about "eye" already being a kind of metaphor for a point of view or perspective.

So, for the second stanza, it would mean that, where love and the loss of love are concerned, we can have many different ideas and entertain (or even talk ourselves into) many different points of view, but our heart alone knows the real, singular truth of what we feel.

John Holland
France
Local time: 00:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
Notes to answerer
Asker: So, heart has one eye (for this particulare rhyme) in your opinion, hasn't it? Sometimes about the dawn the day has also two eyes when the Moon seen. It's a not so wide-spread natural phenomenon, but I've watched it personally.

Asker: Special thanx for rendering of the second stanza, John! :)


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M
3 mins
  -> Thanks, Tony

agree  Lucy Phillips: yes, only one eye = the sun in the first instance. Love perhaps in the second, but it's still 'only one eye' in terms of the way he expresses that idea in the poem. What exactly the 'eye' is in the second instance is left for the reader to infer.
9 mins
  -> Thanks, Lucy

agree  Alexandra Schneeuhr
11 mins
  -> Thanks, Alexandra

agree  Carol Gullidge
21 mins
  -> Thanks, Carol

agree  Victoria Britten
44 mins
  -> Thanks, Victoria

agree  auburde
1 hr
  -> Thanks, auburde

agree  1045
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, 1045

agree  Phoenix III
8 hrs
  -> Thanks, Phoenix

agree  Jim Tucker
19 hrs
  -> Thanks, Jim

agree  Phong Le
1 day19 hrs
  -> Thanks, Phong

agree  Daniel Weston
1 day20 hrs
  -> Thanks, Daniel
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +7
just one


Explanation:
This is how I see it

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Note added at 6 mins (2013-11-26 10:32:58 GMT)
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The heart has just one eye, one only love.

Or

The mind can be satisfied with many different feelings (pride, success, amusement, etc.) but the heart is only satisfied with love, so when love dies the heart dies with it

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 mins (2013-11-26 10:33:36 GMT)
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No, just one eye

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Note added at 39 mins (2013-11-26 11:06:02 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

the light = the love


cynthiatesser
Italy
Local time: 00:16
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Italian
Notes to answerer
Asker: Just one thing, you mean, don you?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M
5 mins
  -> Thank you!

agree  Carol Gullidge: "just one" works fine
24 mins
  -> Thank you!

agree  Gallagy
30 mins
  -> Thank you!

agree  Victoria Britten
46 mins
  -> Thank you!

agree  1045
5 hrs
  -> Thank you!

agree  Phoenix III
8 hrs
  -> Thank you!

agree  Daniel Weston
1 day20 hrs
  -> Thank you!
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
here it means "single."


Explanation:
The poet answers it in the 4th line of both verses.
The first verse it is the 'sun,'and in the second verse it is 'love.'
Sun is the eye of the day, and love is the eye of the heart.

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Note added at 6 hrs (2013-11-26 17:22:24 GMT)
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As the Bible says, "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." Matthew 6:22

acetran
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in HindiHindi, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you for you opinion! :)


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  B D Finch: Misses the point! The biblical reference you quote is absolutely irrelevant. The point of "but one" is that it is an emphatic contrast with the previous statement.
1 day7 hrs

agree  xxxsujoyal
2 days5 hrs
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Reference comments


1 hr
Reference: Versions

Reference information:
Russian

This must be the one you've referred to. It is by Yakov Polonsky (Яков Петрович Полонский) (1819-1898) and dates from 1874. It was set to music by Cesar Cui (Цезарь Антонович Кюи), in Six Poems by Polonsky (Шесть стихотворении Я. П. Полонского), Op. 76, no. 2 (1908):

Ночь смотрит тысячами глаз,
А день глядит одним;
Но солнца нет - и по земле
Тьма стелется, как дым.

Ум смотрит тысячами глаз,
Любовь глядит одним;
Но нет любви - и гаснет жизнь,
И дни плывут, как дым.

http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=12908&Tr...
______________________________

German

There's also a version in German by Walter A. Aue © 2010, beginning "Viel tausend Augen hat die Nacht". It can be seen here:
http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=59842

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Note added at 9 hrs (2013-11-26 20:09:56 GMT)
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I didn't see that one. It contains a very bad error: it translates "but one" as "pero uno". As has been said here, "but" means "only" in this case, not "however". I can't find an accurate version of the complete poem in Spanish.

Here it is in Italian:
http://www.efpfanfic.net/viewstory.php?sid=461365
http://www.psicosomaticapnei.com/pdf/ossitocina.pdf (p. 2)
http://dp1237.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/la-notte-a-mille-occh...

Charles Davis
Spain
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 204
Note to reference poster
Asker: Thank you for the refence material, Charles! Of course, I've read Russian version after the translation (never do it before). It was interesting to read it in German, though a couple of apostrophes miss there - probably disadvantages of copypasting. Mit dem Licht der einen Sonn'. Läuft ihm die Lieb' davon.

Asker: You wrote "I've found unpublished translations of this in Spanish and Italian on the Internet". Is it this one? http://www.experienceproject.com/l/es/s/historias/La-Noche-Tiene-Mil-Ojos/272051 I'm afraid, it's not rhymed, signed with some nick though "Esta historia escrita por Orangetas"

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Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
Non-PRO (3): Cilian O'Tuama, danya, Jim Tucker


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Changes made by editors
Dec 11, 2013 - Changes made by John Holland:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term
Nov 27, 2013 - Changes made by Jim Tucker:
LevelPRO » Non-PRO


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