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Ah! si vous saviez comme on pleure

Language: French (Français)

Ah! si vous saviez comme on pleure 
De vivre seul et sans foyers, 
Quelquefois devant ma demeure 
Vous passeriez. 

Si vous saviez ce que fait naître 
Dans l'âme triste un pur regard, 
Vous regarderiez ma fenêtre 
Comme au hazard. 

Si vous saviez quel baume apporte 
Au coeur la présence d'un coeur, 
Vous vous assoiriez sous ma porte 
Comme une soeur. 

Si vous saviez que je vous aime, 
Surtout si vous saviez comment, 
Vous entreriez peut-être même 
Tout simplement.

Translation(s): ENG GER RUS

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG RUS by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG RUS by Eugen Hildach.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Aleksey Nikolayevich Pleshcheyev (1825 - 1893) , written 1883, first published 1884 ENG GER GER by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:51
Line count: 16
Word count: 78

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Ah! If you only knew how one cries

Language: English after the French (Français)

Ah! If you only knew how one cries 
Living alone and without a family, 
Sometimes, in front of my home,
You might [choose to] pass. 

If you only knew what is ignited 
In a sad soul by a simple look, 
You might [choose to] glance at my window 
As if by chance. 

If you only knew what balm can be brought 
To one heart by the presence of another heart, 
You might sit down by my door
Like a sister. 

If you only knew that I love you, 
Above everyone else, and if you knew how much, 
You might just come inside
Quite simply.

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About the headline (FAQ)

Translator's notes:
Line 1-2: family: literally, a family, household, or hearth
Line 2-2: ignited: literally, is born


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (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 French (Français) by René-François Sully-Prudhomme (1839 - 1907), "Prière", written 1872, appears in Les vaines tendresses, no. 2, Paris, Éd. Alphonse Lemerre, first published 1875 RUS GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Giulio Alary, François Berthet, André Devaere, Théodore Dubois, Simone Féjard, Charles Gounod, Henriëtte Jacoba van Heukelom - van den Brandeler, Edmond Hippeau, Jean Mein, Giovanni Sgambati, Francesco Paolo Tosti, Theodor H. H. Verhey, Johann Vesque von Püttlingen, Maude Valérie White. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-02-08.
Last modified: 2016-02-08 10:28:42
Line count: 16
Word count: 104