Translation © by Peter Low

Les roses d'Ispahan
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER ITA SPA SPA
Les roses d'Ispahan dans leur gaîne de mousse,
Les jasmins de Mossoul, les fleurs de l'oranger,
Ont un parfum moins frais, ont une odeur moins douce,
Ô blanche Léïlah! que ton souffle léger.

Ta lèvre est de corail et ton rire léger
Sonne mieux que l'eau vive et d'une voix plus douce.
Mieux que le vent joyeux qui berce l'oranger,
Mieux que l'oiseau qui chante au bord d'un nid de mousse.

Mais le subtile odeur des roses dans leur mousse,
La brise qui se joue autour de l'oranger
Et l'eau vive qui flue avec sa plainte douce
Ont un charme plus sûr que ton amour léger!

Ô Leïlah! depuis que de leur vol léger
Tous les baisers ont fui de ta lèvre si douce
Il n'est plus de parfum dans le pâle oranger,
Ni de céleste arome aux roses dans leur mousse.

L'oiseau, sur le duvet humide et sur la mousse,
Ne chante plus parmi la rose et l'oranger;
L'eau vive des jardins n'a plus de chanson douce,
L'aube ne dore plus le ciel pur et léger.

Oh! que ton jeune amour, ce papillon léger,
Revienne vers mon coeur d'une aile prompte et douce.
Et qu'il parfume encor [les fleurs]1 de l'oranger,
Les roses d'Ispahan dans leur gaîne de mousse.

G. Fauré sets stanzas 1, 2, 4, 6

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Fauré: "la fleur"

Authorship

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 (Peter Low) , "The roses of Ispahan", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Elaine Marie Ortiz-Arandes) , "Die Rosen von Ispahan", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Elena Mariani) , "Le rose d'Ispahan", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alfredo García) , "Las rosas de Ispahan", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (José Miguel Llata) , "Las rosas de Ispahan", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 210

The roses of Ispahan
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
 The roses of Ispahan in their sheath of moss,
 the jasmines of Mosul, the orange blossoms,
 have a fragrance less fresh, an aroma less sweet,
 O pale Leila, than your light breath!
 
 Your lips are coral and your light laughter
 has a softer and lovelier sound than rippling water,
 lovelier than the joyous breeze that rocks the orange-tree,
 lovelier than the bird that sings near its nest of moss.

 But the subtle fragrance of the roses in their moss,
 the breeze that plays around the orange-tree
 and the spring-water flowing with its plaintive murmur
 have a more certain charm than your fickle love!

 O Leila, ever since in their airy flight
 all the kisses have fled from your lips so sweet,
 there is no longer any fragrance from the pale orange-tree,
 no heavenly aroma from the roses in the moss.
 
 The bird, in its nest of moist feathers or moss,
 sings no more among the roses and orange-trees;
 the springs in the gardens have lost their soft song;
 and dawn no longer gilds the pure and weightless sky.

 Oh, if only your youthful love, that light butterfly,
 would return to my heart on swift and gentle wings,
 and perfume once more the orange blossom
 and the roses of Ispahan in their sheath of moss.

Authorship

  • 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.
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Based on

 

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 215