by Pierre de Ronsard (1524 - 1585)
Translation © by David Wyatt

Errant par les champs de la Grâce
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Errant par les champs de la Grâce,
Qui peint mes vers de ses couleurs,
Sus les bords Dirceans j’amasse
Le thresor des plus riches fleurs,
Afin qu’en pillant je façonne
D’une laborieuse main
La rondeur de ceste couronne
Trois fois torce d’un ply Thebain,
Pour orner le hault de la gloire
Du plus heureux mignon des Dieux
Qui ça bas ramena des cieulx
Les filles qu’enfanta Mémoire.

Mémoire, royne d’Eleuthere,
Par neuf baisers qu’elle receut
De Jupiter, qui la fit mere,
En neuf soirs neuf filles conceut.
Mais quand la lune vagabonde
Eut courbé douze fois en rond
(Pour r’enflammer l’obscur du monde)
La double voute de son front,
Elle adonc lassement outrée
Dessous Olympe se coucha
Et criant Lucine, accoucha
De neuf filles d’une ventrée.

En qui respandit le ciel
Une voix sainctement belle,
Comblant leur bouche nouvelle
Du just d’un attique miel,
Et a qui vrayment aussi
Les vers furent en soucy,
Les vers dont flattés nous sommes,
Affin que leur doulx chanter
Peust doucement enchanter
Le soing des Dieux et des hommes.

About the headline (FAQ)


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):

  • ENG English (David Wyatt) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: David Wyatt
Straying through the fields of Grace
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Straying through the fields of Grace,
Who paints my verses with her colours,
On Dirce’s banks I gathered
A treasure, the richest flowers,
So that by taking them I could make
With hard-working hand
This round crown,
Thrice-twisted in Theban style,
To adorn the head of the glory
Of the happy darling of the gods,
Who here below brought back from the heavens
The daughters born from Memory.

Memory, queen of Eleuthera,
By means of nine kisses1 she received
From Jupiter, who made her a mother,
In nine nights conceived nine girls.
But when the wandering moon
Had twelve times curved to roundness
(To lighten again the darkness of the world)
The double arc of his brow,
Tired and in pain, she
Took to her bed below Olympus
And calling on [Lucina], gave birth
To nine daughters in one womb-full.

At this heaven cried out
With a beautifully holy voice,
Filling their new-made mouths
With the juice of Attic honey;
By which truly too
Verse was invented,
The verse which caresses us,
So that their sweet singing
Could sweetly enchant away
The cares of gods and men.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Translator's note: now, and perhaps then, “baiser” carries a subsidiary meaning of ‘making love’


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2014 by David Wyatt, (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.

Based on