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Dites, la jeune belle

Language: French (Français)

Dites, la jeune belle,
Où voulez-vous aller ?
La voile [ouvre]1 son aile,
La brise va souffler !

L'aviron est d'ivoire,
Le pavillon de moire,
Le gouvernail d'or fin ;
J'ai pour lest une orange,
Pour voile une aile d'ange,
Pour mousse un séraphin.

Dites, la jeune belle !
Où voulez-vous aller?
La voile [ouvre]1 son aile,
La brise va souffler !

Est-ce dans la Baltique,
[Sur]2 la mer Pacifique,
Dans l'île de Java ?
Ou bien [dans la]3 Norwége,
Cueillir la fleur de neige,
Ou la fleur d'Angsoka ?

Dites, la jeune belle,
Où voulez-vous aller?
[La voile ouvre son aile,
La brise va souffler!]4

-- Menez-moi, dit la belle,
À la rive fidèle
Où l'on aime toujours.
-- Cette rive, ma chère,
On ne la connaît guère
Au pays des amours.

Translation(s): ENG ENG ENG GER GER ITA

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Théophile Gauthier, La comédie de la mort, Desessart editeur, Paris, 1838, page 309.

1 Berlioz: "enfle"
2 Berlioz, Gounod: "Dans"
3 Berlioz, Gounod: "est-ce en"
4 omitted by Berlioz and Gounod

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Pierre Mathé [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:

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

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright ©
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Dite, mia giovane bella", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2016-08-27 19:22:52

Line count: 30
Word count: 131

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Dite, mia giovane bella

Language: Italian (Italiano) after the French (Français)

Dite, mia giovane bella
Dove volete andare?
Distende le sue ali la vela
La brezza incomincia a soffiare.

Il remo è in avorio scolpito,
il vessillo è marezzato,
il timone è d'oro fino;
Ho, per zavorra, un'arancia,
Per velo, d'angelo un ala,
per mozzo un serafino.
Dite, mia giovane bella
Dove volete andare?
Distende le sue ali la vela
La brezza incomincia a soffiare.

Volete andare nel Baltico?
Oppure nell'oceano Pacifico?
Nell'isola di Giava?
Oppure in Norvegia, dove
Raccogliere il fiore di neve,
o il fiore d'Angsoka?

Dite, mia giovane bella
Dove volete andare?
Distende le sue ali la vela
La brezza incomincia a soffiare.

Portatemi, risponde la bella,
alla riva fedele, quella
dove si ama per sempre!
Mia cara, questo luogo
È  conosciuto poco
Nel paese dell'amore.

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 Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2009 by Ferdinando Albeggiani, (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 Pierre-Jules-Théophile Gautier (1811 - 1872), "Barcarolle", appears in La Comédie de la Mort, first published 1838 ENG ENG GER GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Delphin Marie Balleyguier, François Emmanuel Joseph Bazin, Jules Beer, Louis Benedictus, Hector Berlioz, Honoré Bizalion, Louis-Charles-Bonaventure-Alfred Bruneau, Allyre Bureau, Auguste Cœdès, Marius Constant, Alphonse Devin-Duvivier, Émile Durand, Eugène Gautier, L. Giunti-Bellini, Charles Gounod, Serge Gut, Charles Haenni, Paul Henrion, Z. Jaume Saint-Hilaire, Mlle., Léon Jouret, Jean-Georges Kastner, Ernest Lépine, Ferdinand Masini, Victor Massé, Jacques Offenbach, Édouard Pascal, Émile Pessard, Jean-Théodore Radoux, Ferdinand Raynal, Napoléon-Henri Reber, James Hotchkiss Rogers, Anselm Vinée. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2009-05-04 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:13

Line count: 30
Word count: 128