by Pierre de Ronsard (1524 - 1585)
Translation © by David Wyatt

Si mille oeillets, si mille liz...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Si mille oeillets, si mille liz j'embrasse,
Entortillant mes bras tout à l'entour,
Plus fort qu'un cep, qui d'un amoureux tour
La branche aimée, en mille plis [enlasse]1 :

Si le soucy ne jaunist plus ma face,
Si le plaisir fait en moy son [le jour]2,
Si j'aime mieux les Ombres que le jour,
Songe divin, [ce bien]3 vient de ta grâce.

[Suyvant ton vol je volerois]4 aux cieux :
Mais [son portrait qui me trompe les yeux]5,
Fraude tousjours ma joye entre-rompue.

[Puis]6 tu me fuis au milieu de mon bien,
Comme un éclair qui se finist en rien,
Ou comme au vent s'évanouyt la nuë.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Leguerney uses modernized spelling, for example:
liz -> lis
soucy -> souci
jaunist -> jaunit
moy -> moi
tousjours -> toujours
joye -> joie
entre-rompue -> interrompue
finist -> finit
1 Leguerney: "l'enlace"
2 Leguerney: "séjour"
3 Leguerney: "cela"
4 Leguerney: "En te suivant je volerais"
5 Leguerney: "ce portrait qui nage dans mes yeux"
6 Leguerney: "Et"


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:

  • Also set in French (Français), [adaptation] ; composed by Florent Schmitt.

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

  • ENG English (David Wyatt) , "If a thousand pinks", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
If a thousand pinks
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
If I embrace a thousand pinks or a thousand lilies,
Twisting them all around my arms
Tighter than a vine which in amorous style
Entwines its beloved branch in a thousand curves;

If care no longer jaundices my face,
If pleasure chooses to stay with me,
If I prefer the shadows to the day,
My divine dream, [this good]1 comes from your favour.

Following [your flight I could fly]2 to the heavens;
But [her image which fools]3 my eyes
Always deceives my exhausted joy;

And then you flee from me in the midst of my happiness,
Like a flash of lightning which ends in nothing,
Or like a cloud which disappears in the breeze.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Leguerney: "that"
2 Leguerney: "you I shall fly"
3 Leguerney: "this image which swims before"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2012 by David Wyatt, (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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