Translation © by Emily Ezust

Dites, la jeune belle
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER ITA
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.

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

Authorship

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


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]
Say, young beauty
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Say, young beauty,
Where do you wish to go?
The sail swells,
The breeze will blow.

The oar is made of ivory,
The flag is of silk,
The helm is of fine gold;
I have for ballast an orange,
For a sail, the wing of an angel,
For a deck boy, a seraph.

Say, young beauty,
Where do you wish to go?
The sail swells,
The breeze will blow.

Is it to the Baltic?
To the Pacific Ocean?
To the island of Java?
Or else to Norway,
To gather the flower of the snow,
Or the flower of Angsoka?

Say, young beauty,
Where do you wish to go?
The sail swells,
The breeze will blow.

-- Lead me, says the beauty,
To the faithful shore
Where one loves always!
-- This shore, my darling,
We hardly know at all
In the land of Love.

About the headline (FAQ)

Note: this is a translation of Berlioz's version.

Translation of title "L'île inconnue" = "The unknown land"

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 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 -- http://www.lieder.net/

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


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