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Robin Gray

Language: French (Français)

Quand les moutons sont dans la bergerie,
Que le sommeil aux humains est si doux,
Je pleure, hélas! les chagrins de ma vie,
Et près de moi dort mon bon vieux époux.

Jame m'aimait; pour prix de sa constance,
II eut mon cœur: mais Jame n'avait rien;
Il s'embarqua, dans la seule espérance
A tant d'amour de joindre un peu de bien.

Après un an notre vache est volée;
Le bras cassé, mon père rentre un jour;
Ma mère était malade et désolée,
Et Robin Gray vint me faire la cour.

Le pain manquait dans ma pauvre retraite;
Robin nourrit mes parens malheureux :
La larme à l'œil, il me disait: Jeannette,
Épouse moi, du moins pour l'amour d'eux.

Je disais: Non, pour Jame je respire.
Mais son vaisseau sur mer vint à périr...
Et j'ai vécu ! Je vis encor peur dire:
Malheur à moi de n'avoir pu mourir!

Mon père alors parla de mariage ;
Sans en parler, ma mère l'ordonna.
Mon pauvre cœur était mort du naufrage;
Ma main restait, mon père la donna.

Un mois après devant ma porte assise,
Je revois Jame... et je crus m'abuser.
C'est moi, dit-il, pourquoi tant de surprise?
Mon cher amour, je reviens t'epouser.

Ah! que de pleurs ensemble nous versâmes!
Un seul baiser, suivi d'un long soupir,
Fut notre adieu; tous deux nous repétâmes:
Malheur à moi de n'avoir pu mourir!

Je ne vis plus, j'écarte de mon âme
Le souvenir d'un amant si chéri:
Je veux tâcher d'être une bonne femme;
Le vieux Robin est un si bon mari!

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

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)

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

  • ENG English (Amy Pfrimmer) , "Robin Gray", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2008-10-20 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2016-02-16 08:50:00

Line count: 36
Word count: 261

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Robin Gray

Language: English after the French (Français)

When the sheep are in the fold, 
when the sleep of men is so sweet, 
I cry, alas! The sorrow of my life seems so near to me 
and also near to me sleeps my good old husband.
James loved me and for the prize of his constancy 
he had my heart, but James had nothing 
and embarked on a voyage in the hope 
that he could make his fortune and marry his love. 

After a year our cow was stolen, 
my father’s arm broken, 
my mother was sick and desolate,
and Robin Gray came to court me. 

Our bread was missing 
and Robin fed my unhappy parents. 
With a tear in his eye he said to me “Jeanette, 
marry me, at least for the love of them.” 

I said, “No, I breathe for James.”
“But his vessel perished at sea…”
And I lived, I live still to say: 
“Woe is me that I could not have died.”

My father spoke again of the marriage. 
Without speaking, my mother ordered me to do it. 
My poor heart was dead from the shipwreck, 
but my father still gave my hand. 

One month after, seated in front of my door, 
I saw James and thought my eyes were playing tricks. 
“It is me,” he said. “Why are you so surprised, 
my beloved, for I have returned to marry you.”

Ah, we wept together. 
A single kiss, followed by a long sigh 
was our farewell. We two repeated, 
“Woe is me that I could not have died.”

I no longer live. I dismiss from my soul 
the memory of a beloved so dear. 
I want to try to be a good woman to old Robin, 
for old Robin is such a good husband.

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.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2019 by Amy Pfrimmer, (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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Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Jean Pierre Claris de Florian (1755 - 1794), "Robin Gray", subtitle: "Romance imitée de l'Anglais", written 1792
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): César Franck, Victor Massé. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2019-07-04 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2019-07-04 22:59:15

Line count: 36
Word count: 290