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To a Devil

Language: English

I tell you, if an angel in paradise you were,
I'd go to his Allmightness and crave admission there.
And if he would not have me
And dared to cast me forth
I'd drag you down from heaven
And set you on the earth.

But now you are a devil and that is passing well,
For can I manage nothing else,
Then I can go to hell.
The Lord may keep his paradise,
May keep his angels too.
I only care for devils, when the devils are like you.

Translation(s): CAT FRE

List of language codes

According to Edvard Grieg: Letters to Colleagues and Friends by Finn Benestad, Peer Gynt Press, 2000, footnote 9 on p. 21, this poem was written in English and Benzon did not wish it to be translated into Danish or Norwegian. In some catalogs of Grieg's music it is nevertheless given the Danish title "Til en hunndjevel".

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "À un démon", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , title 1: "A un diable", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:21
Line count: 12
Word count: 89

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À un démon

Language: French (Français) after the English

Je te le dis, si tu étais un ange au paradis,
j'irai au Tout-Puissant pour m'y faire admettre.
Et s'il ne voulait pas de moi
et osait me jeter dehors,
je te traînerais du ciel en bas
et t'installerais sur la terre.

Mais maintenant tu es un démon, et cela se passe bien,
car si je n'arrive à rien d'autre,
je pourrais aller en enfer.
Le Seigneur peut garder son paradis,
il peut aussi garder ses anges.
Je ne m'occupe des démons que lorsqu'ils sont comme toi.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2014 by Pierre Mathé, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in English by Otto Benzon (1856 - 1927), "To a Devil" CAT
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Edvard Grieg. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2014-01-24.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:28
Line count: 12
Word count: 87