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

Quand au premier la dame que j'adore
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Quand au premier la dame que j'adore
De ses beautez vint embellir les cieux,
Le fils de Rhée appela tous les Dieux,
Poure faire d'elle encor' une autre Pandore.

Lors Apollon richement la décore, 
Or' de ses rais luy façonnant les yeux,
Or' luy donnant son chant melodieux,
Or' son oracle et ses beaux vers encore.

Mars luy donna sa fiere cruauté,
Venus son ris, Dione sa beauté,
Pithon sa voix, Cerés son abondance,

L'Aube ses doits et ses crins deliés,
Amour son arc, Thetis donna ses piés,
Clion sa gloire, et Pallas sa prudence.

About the headline (FAQ)


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 1: "When first the lady I love", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: David Wyatt

This text was added to the website: 2015-02-27
Line count: 14
Word count: 95

When first the lady I love
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
When first the lady I love
Had just embellished the heavens with her beauty,
The son of Rhea called all the gods
To make of her another Pandora.

So Apollo richly decorated her,
Forming her eyes from his rays,
Giving her his tuneful song,
His prophetic gift, and his beautiful poetry too.

Mars gave her his proud cruelty,
Venus her smile, Dione her beauty,
Python his voice, Ceres her fruitfulness,

Dawn her rosy fingers and unloosed hair,
Love his bow; Thetis gave her feet,
Clio her glory and Pallas her good sense.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2015 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: 2015-02-27
Line count: 14
Word count: 92