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L'âne blanc

Language: French (Français)

Je ne t’envoie ni vase, ni roses ce soir,
Mignonne Mirza, mais tu auras,
Mené par mon esclave noir
Un petit âne blanc de Bassora.

La selle est en cuir gaufré
De Damas, et d’orfèvreries couverte,
Et la bride brodée de soie verte
Pend de ses oreilles sur le pré.

Demain tu mettras ta robe d’azur
Peinte d’oiseaux voltigeant,
Tu mettras aux hanches fines ta ceinture
Et ta mule dans l’étrier d’argent.

Et bercée au pas tranquille de ton âne,
Comme une reine d’Orient ou de Bohême,
Tu viendras jusqu’à la cabane
De ce vieux sorcier sourieur qui t’aime.

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

Submitted by Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Garrett Medlock) , "The white donkey", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2019-03-14.
Last modified: 2019-03-14 21:08:12
Line count: 16
Word count: 99

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The white donkey

Language: English after the French (Français)

I do not send you a vase or roses this evening,
Mirza [my] sweetheart, but you will have,
Led by my black slave,
A little white donkey from Basra.

The saddle is of embossed leather
From Damascus, and with goldsmithery covered,
And the bridle embroidered with green silk
Hangs from its eyes upon the meadow.

Tomorrow you will put on your azure dress,
Painted with fluttering birds,
You will place upon your thin hips your belt
And [place] your mule in the silver stirrup.

And cradled in the tranquil steps of your donkey,
Like a queen of the Orient or of Bohemia,
You will come [to] the cabin
Of this old smiling sorcerer who loves you.

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 French (Français) to English copyright © 2019 by Garrett Medlock, (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 Arthur Justin Léon Leclère (1874 - 1966), as Tristan Klingsor, "L'âne blanc", written 1903, appears in Schéhérazade, Paris, Éd. du Mercure de France, first published 1903
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Georges Adolphe Hüe. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2019-03-14.
Last modified: 2019-03-14 21:09:04
Line count: 16
Word count: 116