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The LiederNet Archive

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Les papillons couleur de neige

Language: French (Français)

Les papillons couleur de neige
Volent par essaims sur la mer;
Beaux papillons blancs, quand pourrai-je
Prendre le bleu chemin de l'air?

Savez-vous, ô belle des belles,
Ma bayadère aux yeux de jais,
S'ils me [pouvaient]1 prêter leurs ailes,
Dites, savez-vous où j'irais?

Sans prendre un seul baiser aux roses,
À travers vallons et forêts,
J'irais à vos lèvres mi-closes,
Fleur de mon âme, et j'y mourrais.


List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: titled "Pantoum" in L'Eldorado and Fortunio.

1 in some settings, "voulaient"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


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):

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Motýli"
  • ENG English (Peter Low) , no title, copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-09-02 21:13:16

Line count: 12
Word count: 67

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The snow‑white butterflies

Language: English after the French (Français)

The snow-white butterflies
fly in swarms over the sea.
Beautiful white butterflies, when can I
travel the blue path of the air?
Tell me, oh fairest of the fair,
my dancing-girl with the jet-black eyes -
if they were to lend me their wings,
do you know where I would fly?
Not taking one kiss from the roses,
I'd fly across valleys and forests
to alight on your half-closed lips (oh my soul's
chosen flower!) - and there I'd die.

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.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Les papillons" = "The butterflies"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (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.


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

Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Pierre-Jules-Théophile Gautier (1811 - 1872), "Les papillons", written 1837, appears in La Comédie de la Mort, first published 1838 CZE GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Max Arham, Zacharie Astruc, Edmond Berger, Jacques Bouhy, Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray, Émile Bourgeois, A. Bourlant-Ladam, Otto Bouwens van der Boijen, Charles-Samuel Bovy-Lysberg, Gaston Carraud, Cécile Chaminade, Ernest Amédée Chausson, Antony Choudens, Marie Damaschino, as Mario Foscarina, Alfredo D'Ambrosio, Claude Achille Debussy, Joseph Depret, Victor Dolmetsch, Alban Dorcy, Eugène Ébaudy de Fresne, as Jean Michaëli, Georges Flé, Achille Fould, Baron, Charles Gallois, Benjamin Louis Paul Godard, Marie Félicie Clémence de Reiset, Vicomtesse de Grandval, Louis Graziani, Comte, Serge Gut, Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, Léon Jouret, Gustave Kéfer, Guy de Kervéguen, Vicomte, Henri Kowalski, Théodore Lack, Adam Laussel, dit Adam-Laussel, Robert Le Grand, Omer Létourneau, Jacques Marsyas, Theophile-Jules-Henri Marzials, Anna Naze, Émile Paladilhe, Georges-Louis Pantillon, Édouard Pascal, Felipe Pedrell, Émile Pessard, Jules Philipot, Henry Hugo Pierson, Jean-Théodore Radoux, Jules Regnaud, Albert Renaud, José Paulino Rolón Alcaraz, Mathilde, Baroness Willy de Rothschild, Gaston Sarreau, Arthur de Sinéty, Comte, Arthur Goring Thomas, Fernand de la Tombelle, Francesco Paolo Tosti, Louis Vierne, Anselm Vinée, Jacques-Michel Zoubaloff. Go to the text.


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

Last modified: 2017-07-30 11:33:34

Line count: 12
Word count: 80