by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Tho' cruel fate should bid us part
Language: Scottish (Scots) 
Available translation(s): FRE FRE
Tho' cruel fate should bid us part
As far's the pole and line,
Her dear idea round my heart
Would tenderly entwine.
Tho' mountains frown, and deserts howl,
And oceans roll between;
Yet, dearer than my deathless soul,
I still would love my Jean.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns, Cambridge edition, Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1897, page 205.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (G. Pertz) , title 1: "Beständigkeit"
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Constance", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Si un cruel destin nous ordonnait de nous séparer", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2005-01-16 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-07-28 11:30:03
Line count: 8
Word count: 44

Language: French (Français)  after the Scottish (Scots) 
Que le destin cruel nous oblige à nous quitter
Aussi loin que le pôle ou l'équateur,
Autour de mon cœur sa seule pensée
M'enlacerait tendrement.
Que les montagnes s'opposent et que les déserts rugissent,
Et que les océans roulent entre nous,
Pourtant plus chère que mon âme immortelle
J'aimerais toujours ma Jean.


  • Translation from Scottish (Scots) to French (Français) copyright © 2014 by Guy Laffaille, (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.

Based on


Text added to the website: 2014-01-14 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-07-14 00:45:10
Line count: 8
Word count: 52