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

Autant qu'on voit aux cieux de flammes
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Autant [qu'on voit aux cieux]1 de flammes
Dorer la nuit de leur clartés,
Autant voit on icy de dames
Orner ce soir de leurs beautez :

Autant qu’on void dans une prée
De beautés peintes sur les fleurs,
Autant ceste troupe sacrée
Est belle de mille couleurs.

La Cyprine et ses Graces nues,
Se dérobans de leur sejour,
Sont au festin icy venues
Pour de la nuit faire un beau jour.

Ce ne sont point femmes mortelles
Qui vous esclairent de leurs yeux,
Ce sont déesses eternelles
Qui pour un jour quittent les cieux.

Quand amour perdroit ses flammeches
Et ses dardz trampez de soucy,
Il trouveroit assez de fleches
Aux yeux de ces dames icy.

Amour qui cause noz détresses
Par la cruauté de ses dardz
Fait son arc de leurs blondes tresses
Et ses fléches de leurs regardz.

Il ne faut plus que l’on desire
Qu’autre saison puisse arriver,
Voicy un printems qui soupire
Les fleurs au milieu de l’hyver.

Ce moys de Janvier qui surmonte
Avril par la vertu des yeux
De ces damoyselles, fait honte
Au printems le plus gratieux.

Le grand Dieu archer du tonnerre
Puisse sans moy l’air habiter,
Il me plait bien de voir en terre
Ce qui peut blesser Juppiter.

Les dieux épris comme nous sommes
Pour l’amour quittent leur sejour :
Mais je ne voy point que les hommes
Aillent la haut faire l’amour !

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 in another edition: "qu'au ciel on voit"

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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (David Wyatt) , title unknown, copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: David Wyatt

Text added to the website: 2014-10-25 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-10-26 22:36:20
Line count: 40
Word count: 234

Just as we see the lights in heaven
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Just as we see the lights in heaven
Gild the night with their brightness,
So we see here ladies
Adorn the evenings with their beauty;

Just as we see in a meadow
Beauty painted on the flowers,
So this holy band
Is beautiful in its thousand colours.

The Cyprian goddess [Venus] and her naked Graces,
Abandoning their homes,
Have come here to the feast
To make night into fair day.

These are not mortal women
Who light you with their eyes,
These are eternal goddesses
Who have, for a day, left the heavens.

When love loses his [weapon, fires?]
And his darts drenched in pain,
He will find enough arrows
In the eyes of these ladies here.

Love who causes our distress
Through the cruelty of his darts
Makes his bow from their blond tresses
And his arrows from their glances.

We no longer need wish
That another season might arrive,
Here is spring, breathing out
Flowers in the midst of winter.

This month of January, which is better
Than April because of the power in the eyes
Of these maidens, makes ashamed
Even the most graceful spring.

The great god who shoots the thunderbolts
Can live in the sky without me;
I am quite happy seeing on earth
That beauty] which can wound Jupiter.

The gods, smitten as we are,
Leave their dwelling for love;
But I never see men
Going up there to make love!

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

  • 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.
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Text added to the website: 2014-10-25 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-10-25 17:36:45
Line count: 40
Word count: 237