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Enfant, si j'étais roi, je donnerais...

Language: French (Français)

[Enfant,]1 si j'étais roi, je donnerais l'empire,
Et mon char, et mon sceptre, et mon peuple à genoux,
Et ma couronne d'or, et mes bains de porphyre,
Et mes flottes, à qui la mer ne peut suffire,
Pour un regard de vous!

Si j'étais Dieu, la terre et l'air avec les ondes,
Les anges, les démons courbés devant ma loi,
Et le profond chaos aux entrailles fécondes,
L'éternité, l'espace et les cieux et les mondes,
Pour un baiser de toi!

Translation(s): CHI ENG ENG GER SPA

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Goldschmidt's setting begins "Si j'étais roi"; further changes may exist not noted above.
Note: the poem is headed with the following quote:
    C'est une âme charmante. 

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 or adaptations:

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

  • ENG English (Faith J. Cormier) , title 1: "Child, if I were king, I would give the empire", copyright © 2002, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alberto Bonati) , title 1: "Niña, si yo fuera rey, daría el imperio", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • CHI Chinese (汉语 / 漢語) (Yen-Chiang Che) , title 1: "孩子,如果我是國王", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , title 1: "My child, were I a king"

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:34
Line count: 10
Word count: 80

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My child, were I a king

Language: English after the French (Français)

My child, were I a king, empires would I surrender,
And my sceptre and throne and my subjects so true,
I'd give my crown of gold, and my palace of splendour,
My ships, too, that cleave the ocean flood asunder,
To gain one look from you.

And were I God, I'd forfeit earth and air and ocean,
The angels and the demons who bow to my decree,
And darkest chaos' night, as it groans in ceaseless motion,
Eternity and space and the Heav'n of our devotion,
To win one kiss from thee.

From a Liszt score.

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]


Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885), "À une femme", written 1829, appears in Les Feuilles d'automne, no. 22 CHI GER SPA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Gary Bachlund, César Antonovich Cui, Lucien Dautresme, Adalbert von Goldschmidt, Franz Liszt, Victor Massé. Go to the text.

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

    [ None yet in the database ]

Text added to the website: 2011-04-13.
Last modified: 2016-06-28 10:06:27
Line count: 10
Word count: 92