by Mellin de Saint-Gelais (1487 - 1558)
Translation © by David Wyatt

Il n'est point tant de barques à Venize
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Il n'est point tant de barques à Venize, 
D'huystres à Bourg, de festuz en Champagne,
De differentz aux peuples d'Allemagne, 
De cygnes blancz au long de la Tamise ;

Ne tant d'amours se traictent en l'eglise, 
Ne tant de veaux se treuvent en Bretagne, 
Ne tant de gloire en un signor d'Espagne, 
Ny en la Court tant y a de faintise ;

N'en ces Anglois a tant de cornardise, 
Ne de pardons à Rome un jour de feste, 
Ny d'usuriers en toute Lombardie ;

Ny de travaulx à vaincre femme honneste, 
Ne dans Auvergne animaulx d'Arcadie, 
Que vous avez de lunes en la teste.

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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), [adaptation] ; composed by André Jolivet.

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

  • ENG English (David Wyatt) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2014-06-12 00:00:00
Last modified: 2018-07-09 13:23:53
Line count: 14
Word count: 104

There are not so many boats in Venice
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
There are not so many boats in Venice,
Oysters at Borg, festivals in Champagne,
Variations in the people of Germany,
White swans along the Thames ;

They don’t talk of love so often in church,
There aren’t so many calves in Brittany,
So much self-glory in a Spanish señor,
So much pretension at Court;

The English have not so much trickery,
Nor a feast-day in Rome so many pardons,
Nor are there so many money-lenders in Lombardy;

Not so much work to overcome an honest woman,
Nor so many Arcadian animals in the Auvergne,
As you have moons in your head1.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Translator's note: a reference to lunacy.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2017 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


Text added to the website: 2017-06-10 00:00:00
Last modified: 2017-06-10 17:13:06
Line count: 14
Word count: 101