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

Douce beauté à qui je doy la vie
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Douce beauté à qui je doy la vie,
Le cœur, le corps, et le sang, et l’esprit,
Voyant tes yeux Amour mesme m’aprit
Toute vertu que [depuis j’ai]1 suivie
Mon cueur, ardant d’une amoureuse envie,
Si vivement de tes graces s’éprit
Que d’un regard de tes yeux il comprit,
Que peut honneur, amour et courtoisie.
L’homme [est] de plomb, ou bien il n’a point d’ieux,
Si te voyant il ne voit tous les cieux
En ta beauté qui n’a point de seconde.
Ta bonne grace un rocher retiendroit :
Et quand sans jour le monde deviendroit,
Ton œil si beau seroit le jour du monde.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bertrand: "j'ai depuis"


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 (David Wyatt) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: David Wyatt

This text was added to the website: 2014-08-02
Line count: 14
Word count: 105

Sweet beauty to which I owe my life
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Sweet beauty to which I owe my life,
My heart, my body, my blood, my spirit,
When I saw your eyes Love himself taught me
Every virtue which since then I have pursued.
My heart burning with love’s desire
So swiftly was ravished by your grace
That from a glance of your eyes it knew
What honour, love and nobility can be.
A man is made of lead, or rather has no eyes
If, in seeing you, he does not see the whole of Heaven
In your beauty, which has no like.
Your good graces would captivate a stone;
And if the world should be without light,
Your eyes – so beautiful! – would be the light of the world.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2014 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2014-08-02
Line count: 14
Word count: 120