by Pierre-Félix Louis (1870 - 1925), as Pierre Louÿs
Translation © by Marvin J. Ward

La partie d'osselets
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER
Comme nous l'aimions toutes les deux, 
nous l'avons joué aux osselets.  
Et ce fut une partie célèbre. 
Beaucoup de jeunes filles y assistaient.

Elle amena d'abord le coup des Kyklôpes, 
et moi, le coup de Sôlon.  Mais elle, 
le Kallibolos, et moi, me sentant perdue, 
je priais la déesse !

Je jouai, j'eus l'Epiphénôn, 
elle le terrible coup de Khios, moi l'Antiteukhos, 
elle le Trikhias, et moi le coup d'Aphroditê 
qui gagna l'amant disputé.

Mais la voyant pâlir, je la pris par le cou 
et je lui dis tout près de l'oreille 
(pour qu'elle seule m'entendît) : 
« Ne pleure pas, petite amie, 
nous le laisserons choisir entre nous. »

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 (Marvin J. Ward) , "The Game of Jacks", copyright © 2003, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Das Astragalspiel", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Marvin J. Ward

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 17
Word count: 110

The Game of Jacks
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Since we both love him, 
we played jacks with him. 
And it was a famous game. 
Many young girls watched it.

First, she cast the throw of the Kyclôpes, 
and I, the throw of Sôlon.  But she, 
the Kallibolos, and I, feeling I'd lost, 
I prayed to the goddess!

I played, I had the Epiphénôn,
she the terrible throw of Khios, me the Antiteukhos,
she the Trikhias, and I the throw of Aphrodite
which won the disputed lover.

But, seeing her grow pale, I took her by the neck
and I told her everything in her ear 
(so that she alone could hear me): 
"Do not cry, little friend, 
we will let him choose between us."

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2003 by Marvin J. Ward, (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: 17
Word count: 116