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La cigale et la fourmi

Language: French (Français)

La cigale, ayant chanté
Tout l'été,
Se trouva fort dépourvue
Quand la bise fut venue.
Pas un seul petit morceau
De mouche ou de vermisseau.
Elle alla crier famine
Chez la Fourmi sa voisine,
La priant de lui prêter
Quelque grain pour subsister
Jusqu'à la saison nouvelle.
«Je vous paierai, lui dit-elle,
Avant l'août, foi d'animal,
Intérêt et principal.»
La Fourmi n'est pas prêteuse;
C'est là son moindre défaut.
«Que faisiez-vous au temps chaud?
Dit-elle à cette emprunteuse.
-- Nuit et jour à tout venant
Je chantais, ne vous déplaise.
-- Vous chantiez? j'en suis fort aise.
Et bien! dansez maintenant.»

Translation(s): ENG HUN RUS

List of language codes

Submitted by Ted Perry


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) , "The grasshopper and the ant", copyright © 2016

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

Last modified: 2014-09-14 21:56:10
Line count: 22
Word count: 99

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The grasshopper and the ant

Language: English after the French (Français)

The Grasshopper, having sung
All summer,
Found herself extremely deprived
When the cold winds began to blow:
Not even one small morsel
Of a fly or a worm.
She cried famine
At the home of her neighbour the Ant,
And entreated her to lend her
Some grain on which to subsist
Until the next season.
"I shall pay you", she told her,
"Before august, upon my word as an animal,
Both interest and principal."
The Ant is not a money-lender -
That's the least of her problems!
"How did you spend the warm days?"
She asked this borrower.
"Night and day, to all who came,
I sang, if you don't mind."
"You sang? I am glad.
Well! now you can go dance."

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  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2016 by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Jean de La Fontaine (1621 - 1695), "La cigale et la fourmi", written 1668, appears in Fables HUN RUS FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Isabelle Aboulker, Paul Barachin, Paul Bonneau, Michel Bosc, Melchior Alexandre Bruneau, Régis Campo, André Caplet, Jacqueline Chautemps, Maurice Delage, Benjamin Louis Paul Godard, Paul Hindemith, Joseph Jongen, Rudolf Leopold Koumans, Charles Lecocq, Marcelle de Manziarly, Jacques Offenbach, Charles Camille Saint-Saëns, Charles Trenet. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-11-12.
Last modified: 2017-06-06 11:58:20
Line count: 22
Word count: 122