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The LiederNet Archive

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Ev'n like two little bank‑dividing...

Language: English

Ev'n like two little [bank-dividing]1 brooks,
  That wash the pebbles with their wanton streams,
And having rang'd and search'd a thousand nooks,
  Meet both at length [in]2 silver-breasted Thames,
    Where in a greater current they conjoin:
So I my best-beloved's am; so he is mine.
Ev'n so we met; and after long pursuit,
  Ev'n so we joyn'd; we both became entire;
No need for either to renew a suit,
  For I was flax and he was flames of fire:
    Our firm-united souls did more than twine;
So I my best-beloved's am; so he is mine.
If all those glitt'ring Monarchs that command
  The servile quarters of this earthly ball,
Should tender, in exchange, their shares of land,
  I would not change my fortunes for them all:
    Their wealth is but a counter to my coin:
The world's but theirs; but my beloved's mine.
Nay, more; If the fair Thespian Ladies all
  Should heap together their diviner treasure:
That treasure should be deem'd a price too small
  To buy a minute's lease of half my pleasure;
    'Tis not the sacred wealth of all the nine
Can buy my heart from him, or his, from being mine.
Nor Time, nor Place, nor Chance, nor Death can bow
  My least desires unto the least remove;
He's firmly mine by oath; I his by vow;
  He's mine by faith; and I am his by love;
    He's mine by water; I am his by wine,
Thus I my best-beloved's am; thus he is mine.

He is my Altar; I, his Holy Place;
  I am his guest; and he, my living food;
I'm his by penitence; he mine by grace;
  I'm his by purchase; he is mine, by blood;
    He's my supporting elm; and I his vine;
Thus I my best beloved's am; thus he is mine.
He gives me wealth; I give him all my vows:
  I give him songs; he gives me length of dayes;
With wreaths of grace he crowns my [conqu'ring]3 brows,
  And I his temples with a crown of Praise,
    Which he [accepts as an]4 everlasting signe,
That I my best-beloved's am; that he is mine.

Translation(s): FRE

List of language codes

B. Britten sets stanzas 1-3, 5-7

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Britten: "divided"
2 Britten: "at"
3 Britten: "longing"
4 Britten: "accepts: an"

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) (Guy Laffaille) , title unknown, 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 10:01:46

Line count: 42
Word count: 355

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Tout comme deux petits ruisseaux,...

Language: French (Français) after the English

Tout comme deux petits ruisseaux, séparés par leurs rives,
Qui lavent les galets avec leurs cours fantasques,
Et ayant rangé et fouillé un millier de recoins,
Se retrouvent tous les deux enfin dans le sein argenté de la Tamise,
Où au milieu d'un grand courant ils se rejoignent :
Ainsi je suis à mon bien-aimé ; ainsi il est mien.

De même, nous nous sommes rencontrés ; et après une longue poursuite,
De même nous sommes rejoints ; nous deux devinrent un ;
Aucun besoin de changer de costume :
Car j'étais de lin et il était flammes de feu :
Nous âmes fermement unies faisaient plus que des jumelles ;
Ainsi je suis à mon bien-aimé ; ainsi il est mien.

Si tous ces monarques rutilants qui commandent
Les quartiers serviles ce cette boule terrestre
Offraient, en échange, le partage de leurs terres,
Je n'échangerais pas ma fortune pour les leurs :
Leur richesse n'est qu'un jeton devant ma pièce :
Le monde n'est que le leur ; mais mon bien-aimé est mien.

Ni le temps, ni le lieu, ni le hasard, ni la mort ne peuvent courber
Mes moindres désirs devant le moindre changement ;
Il est fermement mien par serment ; et je suis sien par amour ;
Il est mien par la foi ; et je suis sien par amour ;
Il est mien par l'eau ; je suis sien par le vin,
Ainsi je suis à mon bien-aimé ; ainsi il est mien.

Il est mon autel ; je suis son saint palais ;
Je suis son invité ; et lui ma nourriture vitale ;
Je suis sien par pénitence ; il est mien par la grâce ;
Je suis sien par achat ; il est mien par le sang ;
Il est l'orme qui me supporte ; et je suis sa vigne ;
Ainsi je suis à mon bien-aimé ; ainsi il est mien.

Il me donne la richesse ; je lui donne tous mes serments ;
Je lui donne mes chants ; il me donne la longueur des jours ;
Avec des guirlandes de grâce il couronne mon front plein de désir,
Et je couronne ses tempes avec une couronne de louange
Qu'il accepte : un signe éternel
Que je suis à mon bien-aimé ; qu'il est mien.

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About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2015 by Guy Laffaille, (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.


    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
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Based on
  • a text in English by Francis Quarles (1592 - 1644), "My beloved is mine, and I am his; He feedeth among the lilies"
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Benjamin Britten, David Sisco. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2015-06-08 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2015-06-08 17:55:44

Line count: 36
Word count: 385