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The LiederNet Archive

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Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy...

Language: English

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Thou stock dove whose echo resounds thro' the glen,
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear,
I charge you disturb not my slumbering Fair.

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills, 
Far marked with the courses of [clear]1, winding rills; 
There daily I wander as noon rises high, 
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye. 

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below, 
Where, wild in the woodlands, the primroses blow; 
There oft, as mild ev'ning weeps over the lea, 
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides;
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As, gathering sweet flowerets, she stems thy clear wave.

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, sweet River, the theme of my lays;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Translation(s): FRE GER GER GER

List of language codes

B. Britten sets stanzas 1-2, 5-6
H. Hopekirk sets stanzas 1-3, 6

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Hopekirk: "sweet"

Submitted by Jean Branch and 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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Wilhelm Christoph Leonhard Gerhard (1780 - 1858) , "Mary schlummert", first published 1840? ENG FRE ; composed by Wilhelm Baumgartner, Moritz Hauptmann.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by L. G. Silbergleit , "Ström' leise" [an adaptation] FRE ; composed by Carl Goldmark, George Henschel, Robert von Hornstein.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist FRE ; composed by Karl Martin Reinthaler.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2019-03-07 20:45:08

Line count: 24
Word count: 197

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Coule doucement gentille Afton entre tes...

Language: French (Français) after the English

Coule doucement gentille Afton entre tes vertes rives,
Coule doucement, je chanterai une chanson en ton honneur ;
Ma  chère Marie est endormie près de ton flot murmurant,
Coule discrètement gentille Afton, ne trouble pas son rêve.

Tourterelles des bois dont on entend l'écho dans la vallée,
Merles qui sifflent avec fougue dans le ravin épineux,
Vanneaux à la crête verte, retenez vos cris,
Je vous demande de ne pas troubler ma belle endormie.

Gentille Afton, comme tes collines alentour sont superbes,
Sillonnées au loin par le cours de clairs et sinueux ruisseaux ;
Là, chaque jour  je marche, quand le soleil de midi est haut
J'ai sous les yeux mon troupeau et la chaumière de Marie.

Dans le bas, comme sont plaisantes tes pentes et tes vertes vallées,
Où dans les bois fleurissent les primevères sauvages,
Souvent là-bas quand un doux soir pleure sur l'herbe,
Le bouleau odorant nous ombrage, Marie et moi.

Afton comme ton flot cristallin glisse avec charme,
Et serpente autour de la chaumière où réside Marie,
Comme tes eaux baignent avec ravissement ses pieds de neige,
Tandis que cueillant de douces fleurs elle endigue tes vagues claires.

Coule doucement gentille Afton entre tes vertes rives,
Coule doucement gentille rivière, thème de mon poème,
Ma  chère Marie est endormie près de ton flot murmurant,
Coule doucement gentil Afton, ne trouble pas son rêve.

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About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Flow gently, sweet Afton" = "Coule doucement gentille Afton"
"Sweet Afton" = "Gentille Afton"
"Afton Water" = "Les eaux de l'Afton"


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2019 by Pierre Mathé, (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 English by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), no title GER GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): David Arditti, Agathe Ursula Backer-Grøndahl, Benjamin Britten, Percy Aldridge Grainger, Helen Hopekirk. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2019-03-19 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2019-03-19 04:41:20

Line count: 24
Word count: 227